On a chilly Wednesday morning, Min Yoongi walks into Seokjin’s business for a good luck charm.
Wednesday afternoon, Seokjin spills coffee on his favorite white sweater for the first time in his life. Wednesday evening, it starts raining on his way home and the gusts of wind snap his umbrella like a twig.
He’s had that umbrella since he was ten years old.
There are little red ladybugs on it.
Now they are sad, broken, little red ladybugs, because it’s raining, and he has no umbrella anymore, and he can’t think of a single time this has ever happened to him. Seokjin stands there in shocked silence, broken umbrella held limply in his hand, with rainwater pouring down his face and soaking his newly stained white sweater (dry clean only), and says, “What the fuck?”
“How does this work exactly?” Seungkwan asks.
“I go wherever the wind takes me.” Seokjin says, airily, leaning back in his desk chair with a practiced wave of his fingers.
“Okay, but how does this work for me?” Seungkwan presses, trying to pin Seokjin down with a stare that he avoids easily. (Another practiced maneuver, meant to look effortless and unintentional. Seokjin has every gesture tailored to the One True Miracle Experience.)
“You go,” Seokjin says, “wherever the wind takes me.”
Seungkwan scowls. “That’s it?”
“That’s it. Why are you so interested in how this works, anyway? Maybe don’t think too hard about the technicalities and leave the miracle-work to me.” Seokjin pulls out a contract (Category 01: Minor Miracle) and slaps it on the desk in front of Seungkwan expectantly. “Now, tell me, Seungkwan-ssi, do you want a miracle or don’t you?”
“Yeah, I do,” Seungkwan sighs, resigned, and slides the contract closer. “Where do I sign?”
(There are three universal constants in Kim Seokjin’s world. The first: overconfidence and blinding charisma will get him anywhere he wants to go.
The second: if he thinks he must be going in the wrong direction, just keep going wherever feels right; he’ll always get to his goal destination eventually.
And the third: the universe will always, unquestioningly and without fail, bend circumstances in his favor. It’s in all the normal things, of course, like dice games, and card games, and slot machines, and the lottery, anything based on chance or randomized selection.
Seokjin is a veritable master of beginner’s luck.
Only it doesn’t stop at card games and slot machines; it’s also never getting caught in the rain without an umbrella. It’s always having a cab waiting for him when he needs one, or wearing white without worrying about stains because he never spills anything. It’s finding ₩20,000 on the ground right when he needs it, or securing hard-fought concert tickets with ease, or getting free pastries from his favorite cafe because the ajumma accidentally made too many and she’s sweet on him, anyway.
It’s somehow saying the exact words someone crying at a bus stop needed to hear before going home.
It’s catching someone’s sleeve right before they step into oncoming traffic because some asshole ran the stoplight.
It’s saving someone’s life because he was there at the right time to stop the bleeding while someone else ran to get help.
It’s a miracle.)
“Hello, is this, uh, Kim Seokjin’s Epiphany Consulting & Solutions?”
Seokjin raises an eyebrow and gestures silently to the giant framed ad—bright pink, with his most winning smile on display—on his office wall that reads:
Looking for a miracle? You’ve found him!
Kim Seokjin, Professional Miracle
Guaranteed Results in *24 Hours or Less!
100% Success and Satisfaction Rate
(*Terms and Conditions Apply. Visit Epiphany Consulting & Solutions or Call Us at +82-617-MIRA-CLE For More Details On Your One True Miracle Experience!)
“You’ve found me. What kind of miracle are you looking for?” Seokjin asks, calm and aloof in a way that says, you look nervous and skeptical, and that sounds like a you problem. “Disclaimer: I prefer not to raise people from the dead, so it’s no longer available as a service.”
The woman clutches the strap of her bag like a lifeline, tight and white-knuckled. The 3-hour charms (Have an emergency? This “You Lucked Out!” charm is best used for last-minute necessities like avoiding the weather, or attending auditions, or sitting for tests! Lasts up to three hours.) next to the front counter clink softly where her shoulder brushes the stand. “What—um, what exactly can you do here?”
“Oh, the usual: Two fish, five loaves of bread... feeding the masses; that sort of thing.” Seokjin says, ignoring Jungkook’s muttered, “that real Jesus shit,” from his spot behind the cash register.
“Do you—” she pauses nervously, side-eyeing Jungkook as he categorizes the inventory. “Do you have a list of services?”
Seokjin pulls out a laminated sheet that reads:
Category 01: Minor Miracle
Category 02: Moderate Miracle
Category 03: Major Miracle
“This doesn’t tell me anything at all.” The woman says, a frown pulling down at the corners of her mouth, leaving her less nervous and more annoyed. “You know that, right?”
“Secrets of the trade.” Seokjin shrugs. He shifts in his seat, his posture opening into a more welcoming position. He says, quieter (kinder), “It’s more you tell me what you need, and I tell you if I can help. If I think I can help, then we can talk about where to go from there. Does that sound okay?”
The woman nods, more to herself than him, as if steeling herself for a conversation yet to happen. She sits down in the seat across from Seokjin’s desk. “Okay.”
Seokjin eyes the last fried dumpling between them. “Rock-paper-scissors for it?”
Jungkook groans. “Ugh, no. If you want me to do something, just tell me to do it. You win rock-paper-scissors every time. You literally never lose. Mathematically, it shouldn’t be possible.”
“Hyung’s just trying to give you the illusion of victory before inevitably winning it all, anyway.” Seokjin grabs the dumpling and pops it in his mouth before Jungkook can say anything—or worse: steal it for himself. “Out of the kindness of my heart, you can have the last of the noodles.”
“You have no concept of true hardship, do you?”
“Life isn’t exactly easy for me either, you know.”
“Oh, I’m sure it’s just terrible winning every game of Bingo at the senior citizen center,” Jungkook scoffs. He stuffs at least three bites worth of noodles in his mouth at once, cheeks rounding out like something out of a cartoon.
“Winning too often is a very heavy burden,” Seokjin says, affronted, “don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.”
“Only a burden to you now, ‘cause you got banned from senior Bingo night for life.” Jungkook says through a mouthful of food. “I hope those vouchers were worth it.”
“Yah, don’t be a brat. You benefit directly from those vouchers.”
Jungkook sticks his tongue out at him, just to be contrary.
Seokjin’s always kind of liked that about him.
(Winning all the time really had gotten old after a while, more tiring than exciting.
Nowadays, he just gives everything away, to friends who need the help but won’t ask for it or expect it. Seokjin had learned a long time ago that some people wanted him around for what they could gain from him. It was inevitable he’d decide to capitalize on it.
Why let people use him for free and call it friendship?)
“Look, I just think this is going a little too well, you know?” Jihoon says, a frown tugging at his mouth.
Seokjin sighs. “If it’s going well, then just go along with it. That’s how this works.”
“But what happens when it stops going this well?”
“I can control the initial outcome—to a degree—but anything comes after is up to you to deal with.” Seokjin runs his hand through his hair, trying to let his frustration dissipate so it doesn’t show on his face. Everyone reacts like this; everyone worries; it’s normal. “I’m the first domino. I set things in motion, so that everything falls into place, but you’re the one who has to see it through to the end.”
“How much are these?” Seokjin hears from the gift shop, after Jihoon exits. He shifts to the side, just a little, angling to see Jungkook from his position in his office. There’s a man standing in front of the counter, slim and small, touching a finger to the glass display case and pointing to one of the more expensive charms. (Seokjin had had those particular charms on his person for three whole days! 72 hours! Those are high quality, Luck-imbued goods.)
“Oh, well—hmm.” Jungkook breaks off. “What’s your price range? The Lucky Stars are pretty expensive. I’m sure we could find something suitable that’s a little cheaper.”
Seokjin holds back a sigh. He’d told Jungkook the point is to upsell, not downsell. That’s basic business. They have to make a profit somehow. Before the man can answer, Seokjin exits his office quicker than a flash of lightning and says, “My esteemed colleague is correct—there are cheaper options, but I see you’ve got a keen eye for quality.”
The man turns to face him and—he’s much more delicate than the sharp jut of his shoulders and the boniness of his wrists had implied. He’s downright cute, is what he is. Little nose, soft cheeks, pink mouth. Seokjin drags his eyes away from anything incriminating, clears his throat, and continues, “These here are some of our best products, besides the Miracles I provide. They’re a bit more expensive, but last longer and come with a money-back guarantee. You could buy three of these other ones here, but even back-to-back they’ll last only half as long as the ones you asked about.”
“That’s quite the compelling argument you have there.” The man says, smiling like Seokjin’s spiel is one he’s familiar with—and maybe it is, but it must also be one that works, because he says, “Alright, sure. I’ll take that one, the one that looks like it’s made of tree rings. Do you do gift wrapping?”
“We do,” Seokjin says, leaning back on the counter to—leaning back on the—leaning back, why is he still leaning? Why is he falling? Why is he knocking down the whole countertop stand of keychains and charms and following the mess of it all the way to the floor?
“Jin-hyung!” Jungkook gasps, concerned and out of view, and Seokjin’s head hurts, because—oh, that’s right, hitting the ground is a thing that happens to people and, also, doesn’t feel good?
The man at the counter crouches in front of him, offering a hand that Seokjin takes with a soft, “Thanks,” and a blush burning its way across his face and ears. Once Seokjin’s upright, the man crouches again and begins picking up the fallen charms, and Seokjin says, flustered, “Oh, no, please let me take care of that. Jungkook will get you rung up in the meantime.”
“It’s no problem,” the man says, slipping a number of keychains on each finger. (In the middle of a lucky streak? Keep the ball rolling with our Push Your Luck! charms! This charm is great for letting your lucky streak last even longer! Lasts up to three days. Please use wisely. Epiphany Consulting & Solutions is not responsible for any personal property loss or damages.)
Seokjin rushes to help, but he’s too hasty and knocks their foreheads together, and Seokjin lets out a pained grunt, a solid half of which is prompted by the humiliation kicking his heart rate up as the other man echoes a similar sound. “Ugh, I’m so sorry, please just—Jungkook, give the man a discount, will you?”
“Oh, you don’t need to do that; you didn’t even—” the man says, wide-eyed, hand covering the red mark left on his forehead, as Jungkook answers, “How do you do a discount again?”
“This is hush money, actually,” Seokjin forces a laugh. He has so many charms in his hands. He doesn’t even remember buying or imbuing these. Are these the three hour Luck charms? Or the three day ones? Is he panicking? He can’t tell through the blood rushing through his ears. “Please don’t give us a bad Yelp! review. Haha!”
The man holds his hands up in mock surrender. “Won’t be seeing a bad Yelp! review from me.”
“Jin-hyung, how do I do discounts on this?” Jungkook asks again, prompting Seokjin to drop all the keychains he’d gathered back onto the floor and head around to the back of the counter.
“Let’s call this the, uh, promotional discount.” Seokjin says, poking around on the table. “To encourage repeat visitors. I’ll toss in a coupon for a free consultation, too.”
“I think I’ve got personal miracles covered, but thanks.” The man says, oddly cryptic, paying for the charm and taking the proffered bag from Jungkook’s outstretched hand. He pauses, eyeing both Seokjin and Jungkook briefly, before adding, “I’m Min Yoongi. If I find anyone who needs a miracle, I’ll send ‘em your way.”
Seokjin sends the man a blinding smile. Professionalism is everything. “Well, Min Yoongi-ssi, if you do ever find yourself in need of a Miracle, you know where to find me.”
The second the bells on the door signal Min Yoongi’s exit, Seokjin collapses into an overdramatic heap on the floor.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this embarrassed in my life, Jungkook-ah.” Seokjin says, wearily, touching his ears to see if they still feel hot. His forehead is throbbing.
“I didn’t even know you could feel embarrassed, to be honest,” Jungkook says. “I just assumed you were above all that petty human emotion. On a totally unrelated note: what’s it like, to never feel the singular pain of remembering every humiliating teenage decision with startling clarity at 2AM when you’re trying to sleep?”
“Are you okay? I don’t think that’s something someone who’s okay would say.”
“Last week you mentioned pig farmers and I remembered something horribly embarrassing that happened to me when I was eight and I haven’t slept soundly since.”
“What—should I even ask—okay, you know what? Clean this up, Jungkook-ah, I’ve got important business things to do.”
“These are unfair working conditions. I’m unionizing.” Jungkook pauses, gently settling a pile of keychains on the glass counter. “Look—are you okay? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you knock something over? Or, like, make an unintentional mess? Or make an absolute fool of yourself in front of—”
“Okay, okay!” Seokjin yells, throwing his hands up in the air and cutting Jungkook off mid-sentence. “It was weird! I don’t want to talk about it.”
He stubs his toe on the fucking door frame on the way back into his office.
He definitely doesn’t want to talk about that, either.
Seokjin really doesn’t want to talk about it, but it doesn’t stop him from obsessively going over the afternoon’s events for the remainder of the evening—his walk home after just barely missing his bus, the broken umbrella sitting in the entryway of his apartment, the sodden sweater drying on the rack in his bathroom—like he’s trying to identify the murderer in Cluedo by pinning all the evidence to a corkboard.
(Was it Jeon Jungkook in the stockroom with the clipboard? Was it Kim Seokjin in the office with his fake Nobel Peace prize? Or perhaps it was the most unassuming of all; could it be Min Yoongi in the gift shop with the—ah, don’t be ridiculous.)
Seokjin tosses and turns in bed for hours, mind toggling back and forth between the confusion resulting from his slightly-less-than-stellar Luck and the slow motion recap of Min Yoongi’s eyes curling to match a smile inches away from Seokjin’s face. Seokjin sighs and flips onto his stomach, burying his face in his pillow, but while the memory of it almost eclipses the humiliation of everything else—well.
Maybe this is what Jungkook had meant, about the startling clarity of 2AM.
Whether it’s the weather or a heavy-handed metaphor, Seokjin returns to work the following day with a dark cloud over his head.
It’s not that Seokjin’s never had a run of bad luck; even he isn’t entirely immune. It’s sort of like getting a cold every once in a while. He’s sniffly for a bit, a little tired, a little worn down, wishing he’d truly appreciated his unblocked airways in the time that he had them, but ultimately, it’s not that bad and, besides, with a little rest and relaxation it’ll go away.
It always goes away.
Seokjin just has to wait it out and eventually the tides will turn in his favor for it.
Honestly, even now, he doesn’t think he’s ever actually experienced what the people around him consider “bad Luck.” His experiences are: great Luck, unbelievably great Luck, and, occasionally, “could be considered good Luck if the recipient were anyone other than Kim Seokjin.”
But the concept of true bad Luck? Mostly just a concept.
(If you’re Kim Seokjin.)
Only the Luck feels off today, unsettling something in the marrow of his bones the minute he wakes up.
The bad Luck doesn’t feel conceptual today—
(—not when he wakes up late because his alarm didn’t go off.)
(—not when he somehow manages to burn his fingers on the pan he used to fry his eggs after frantically flinging himself out of bed—even though he’s cooked himself this exact breakfast more times than he can even begin to count and could probably do it asleep, or blindfolded, or under the intense, heavy scrutiny of a live studio audience.)
(—not when he slips down the last few steps outside his apartment and lands on his tailbone so hard he has to hobble the rest of the way to work.)
—but why let it bother him when he has more important things to do with his time?
He unlocks the front door of his shop and shuffles inside carefully, tailbone aching as a vicious reminder of his morning. It’s not that weird, he thinks, or—well, okay, it’s definitely at least a little weird and maybe he should consider mentioning it to someone, but Seokjin’s always been the type to worry quietly and move on with his day in the meantime.
Jungkook arrives only thirty minutes later and Seokjin wastes an additional hour shifting uncomfortably in his seat and trying to pretend nothing unusual has occurred. (He has a reputation to maintain! Kim Seokjin never loses.)
(Sometimes he doesn’t exactly win either, though. But that’s just between him and his reflection.)
“Jungkook, go buy hyung a pillow, would you?” Seokjin asks eventually, tiredly, with a vague gesture in the direction of… somewhere. Somewhere that sells pillows. Soft pillows. Pillows good for gently cradling his… woes.
Jungkook pauses in his typing, raising an eyebrow and sending Seokjin a dubious look from the corner of his eye. “Uh, okay. What kind of pillow? Like, a neck pillow, or…”
Seokjin sighs heavily, hunching over his desk to relieve the pressure on the newly forming bruise at the base of his spine. “A pillow for my ass.”
Eyes visibly widening in utter delight, Jungkook says, “Oh, really?”
Seokjin cuts him off, closing his eyes wearily and raising his hand as if to stop the inevitable flow of words. “Not right now, devil-child.”
“Okay, boss, one pillow for your ass, coming right up,” Jungkook says gleefully, with a jaunty wave that has Seokjin gritting his teeth and pasting on a smile so sharp that Jungkook scurries out the front door without another word.
If the pillow Jungkook brings him doesn’t instantly soothe all of his aches and pains the way he’d hoped, Seokjin supposes he only has himself to blame.
Seokjin had never seen Min Yoongi before he came into his shop on Wednesday, but he sees him no less than five times in the ten days following.
First: through the big glass window of the corner coffee shop with the really nice pastries. He’s picked up an iced Americano in autumn; Seokjin tries to glean from that what he can. The knuckles of Min Yoongi’s hands are pink from the chill outside, but he sucks on the straw of his iced drink valiantly.
Second: in the convenience store down the street from his shop with two packed, narrow aisles separating them. Min Yoongi appears sleepy-eyed and singularly focused, sliding past the rows of instant ramyeon in favor of grabbing the last of the shrimp chips and subsequently making his purchase. Seokjin buys six cups of ramyeon—the kind he doesn’t really like, because his favorite is out of stock, even though nothing’s ever out of stock for Seokjin—and two water bottles for himself.
Third: by the market, standing beside a tall, dimpled lighthouse beacon of a man. Min Yoongi laughs and his face transforms entirely, leaving a curl of warmth in the pit of Seokjin’s stomach for reasons unknown. (Investigate later.)
Fourth: getting off the subway train one car down from where Seokjin and Jungkook are getting on. He trips on his way off the platform and into the subway car, and Jungkook doesn’t stop laughing about it for ten minutes.
And, fifth: at the nearest park, while Seokjin’s assisting a customer with a minor Miracle. (Eunji’s son’s dog had been missing for three weeks, Eunji’s son was inconsolable, and Seokjin felt the wind take him to the same park from which their dog had gone missing in the first place.) There’s a solid bit of distance between him and Min Yoongi, but that’s definitely him—he’s sure of it. He could spot those ankles anywhere.
The afternoon goes as follows:
Eunji’s dog is (miraculously) found. Mother and son are overjoyed. Seokjin’s record remains pristine. Min Yoongi is now nowhere to be seen despite his numerous appearances in the past week or so. Seokjin tries to ignore the disappointment in his gut and decides to buy himself a pastry (read: eat his feelings) for a job well done.
He sees Yoongi through the window of the same shop he’d seen him in that first time, right before he heads into the cafe himself. There’s barely thirty feet between them. He’s still staring at the way the sunlight hits the curve of Yoongi’s cheekbones and the way it gleams in his hair when someone hurrying out of the same cafe pushes the door open and slams it into him. Stunned and in pain, Seokjin doesn’t realize his nose is bleeding until blood drips past his lips and into his mouth, coppery and harsh.
“Oh, god, I am so sorry; I didn’t even see you there. I’m running late and—ugh,” the person says frantically, breathlessly shoving napkins into Seokjin’s hands. She digs into her pockets, pulling out a few thousand won and shoving the bills into his hands, too, while saying, “Here, your coffee’s on me, but I really gotta go.”
A drop of blood lands on the money, spurring Seokjin into action at the same time Yoongi glances up, seeing him at last—with blood all over his face, hands, and sweater.
Seokjin slaps the napkins to his nose harder than necessary, wincing at the contact, while Yoongi makes his way to the entrance. This is the worst. Seems like he can’t catch a fucking break when Min Yoongi’s around. The universe is a cold, dark place, actually. Is this what it’s like to be normal?
“Seokjin-ssi? Are you okay?” Yoongi asks, once within speaking distance. He raises his hand, as if to touch the bridge of Seokjin’s nose, but drops it at the last second. Seokjin almost wishes he hadn’t. Yoongi’s hands would have felt much better than his own.
“Yes, I sure am. Just—just absolutely peachy, you know,” Seokjin says, muffled and slightly hysterical. His heart is racing, far faster than the situation really warrants, and his mind is tripping over itself trying to think—why does this keep happening? He thought the Bad Luck was done with. He’d had a good day; he hadn’t ripped any shirts, or spilled any liquids on his important files, or—
“You’ve got blood on your sweater.”
Seokjin stifles the urge to groan. “It’s the newest fashion, actually.”
“I thought it might be. Rust-red is all the rage right now.” Yoongi smiles then, and Seokjin thinks getting a bloody nose might not be the worst thing to happen to him after all. “Are you picking up? Or can I… buy you a coffee or something?”
Seokjin can hardly believe his own ears. Min Yoongi (—utterly beautiful, strangely intriguing—) is willing to buy Kim Seokjin (—also beautiful, but covered in his own blood—) a drink? Despite the mortifying circumstances? Seokjin’s not a fool; he knows a golden opportunity when he sees one. He waves the soiled won bills weakly. “I’ve got the coffee covered; I could use some company though?”
“I think I can help you with that, if you want to join me over there,” Yoongi says, and gestures to the table he’d been sitting at before, where Seokjin had seen him through the window, glowing prettily in the afternoon light.
“Yeah, I’d like that.” Seokjin pauses, suddenly shy. “I’m gonna… get that coffee. Okay. Yeah. I’ll be right back.”
“Ah, maybe you should—restroom? First?” Yoongi says, hesitantly, and then gestures to his own cute little nose, and—
“Right.” Seokjin awkwardly shuffles away into the restroom and stares hard at his reflection in the mirror, where he can see his upper lip smeared with red and darkening strangely as it dries. He washes his face in the sink, gingerly poking at the bridge of his nose and wincing when the ache throbs anew.
His tailbone is still bruised from his fall weeks ago; no doubt this will be just another incident to add to his growing collection.
Seokjin exits the restroom to find Yoongi sitting at the table from before and he hurries through the order process at the counter in an attempt to snag more time with him, to take advantage of this fortuitous crossing of paths. It still takes too long to order and receive his drink, but maybe Seokjin is just impatient to sit down.
(A life of instant gratification will do that to a man.)
Eventually—and it feels like years, although probably more like minutes—he makes his way over to Yoongi, eyeing the broad sweep of his shoulders beneath the dark, fitted jacket he’s currently wearing. Seokjin drops down into the seat with as much grace as he can muster and says, “Fancy meeting you here, Min Yoongi-ssi.”
“I’m sure it’s a big surprise.” Yoongi curls his hands around his cup, fingers poking out cutely from the cuff of his sweater. His knuckles look a little raw, wind-chapped, and Seokjin wants to massage lotion into them.
Seeing Yoongi around at random intervals may have been surprising the first time, but after the third, fourth, fifth, sixth? Seokjin almost expects it now. Anticipates it, even, but that’s a thought for another time. Seokjin clears his throat and arranges the expression on his face to look a little less enchanted. “So how’s that charm you bought working? You bought it for a friend, right?”
“It actually seems like it’s been working. I wasn’t sure if—” Yoongi breaks off, taking a quick sip of his drink and looking away. The brief quirk of his eyebrows gives away his surprise at the truth to Seokjin’s initial claims, but Seokjin’s used to it—to the doubt and skepticism surrounding his life’s work. Miracles are unbelievable until personally experienced, after all. “My friend’s been—he’s doing really well. Things are going really good for him.”
“I’m an honest businessman; I’d never sell a faulty product.” Seokjin says, primly, but with a smile that’s meant to add I’m not upset. He knows what Yoongi is thinking, what most people think: that it’s the belief that does most of the work. But no, while some of it is the placebo effect, the majority is Seokjin. “I’m glad it’s working for him.”
“So how do you run this miracle business of yours?” Yoongi asks after a moment, changing the subject and propping his chin up on the palm of his hand. “Take on customers and hope for the best?”
“Officially, I run a life changes consultation service,” Seokjin says, with a wry grin, “but unofficially I’m a miracle-worker.”
“Oh, a regular Saint Anthony then.”
“Something like that.”
“Okay, well, how does it work unofficially, then?” Yoongi asks, when it’s clear Seokjin isn’t going to elaborate. “The consultations… the contracts… the miracles.”
There’s something in the way Yoongi is looking at him that prompts Seokjin to say, more truthfully than he is with most, “I… create opportunities, essentially. There’s always a chance that something will go right and a chance that something will go wrong, right? And most of the time that balance is uneven. I guess you could say I tip the scales in their favor, I make the chance of success greater than the chance of failure.”
“You’re telling me you’re a literal good luck charm for other people.”
Seokjin laughs. “Yeah, basically. I’m the good luck charm. Technically, I’m also the good luck charm you bought for your friend, if you want to really get into it. The ‘charm’ is a service I provide, both on the products I sell and the area of effect that occurs naturally around me.”
Yoongi slides him a sly look. “Does this make you my good luck charm by proximity, too?”
The spot of blood on his sweater suddenly feels like it’s burning a hole straight through to his skin. The smile on his face feels frozen, but he refuses to think about it. Turning on the charm instead is as easy as anything. “I guess that depends on how you feel about my proximity.”
“I’m feeling pretty good about it, actually.”
“Ah, look at that, Yoongi-ssi,” Seokjin flutters his eyelashes. “Again you show yourself to be a man of taste.”
Yoongi huffs in amusement, and then, in the same tone of voice, “You did say I had a keen eye for quality, Seokjin-ssi.”
“You’ve witnessed me making a fool of myself not just once, but twice,” Seokjin says, because the only real way to avoid being the butt of a potential joke is to make it clear he’s unbothered, “I’d like to think that means we’re past formalities.”
“Hm, I think you’re probably right. See a man bleed on himself and you reach a different level of friendship.” Yoongi takes a large drink from his cup, upending it to get the last dregs of coffee from the bottom.
Seokjin tries not to stare at the bob of Yoongi’s throat as he swallows. He’s unsuccessful, mostly, and he coughs into his elbow to avoid meeting Yoongi’s eyes when Yoongi places the cup back on the table. “I’d hope that level of friendship includes phone numbers.”
“Yeah, I’d say it does.” Yoongi says, grinning and—fuck, he’s so cute. Yoongi holds out his hand, gesturing for Seokjin’s phone. “Let me put my number in.”
Seokjin hastily unlocks his phone and drops it into Yoongi’s waiting palm. Their fingers brush and a sharp little zing of something shoots through Seokjin’s hand, but Yoongi doesn’t give any indication of experiencing the same. He pokes around for a bit, and then hands it back, saying, “I’ve texted myself so I have your number, too.”
Seokjin smiles back at him, but he only notices he’s doing it when they haven’t spoken for longer than might be considered normal. He laughs, awkwardly, and then scratches at the back of his head just for something to do with his hands. “I’ll see you around?”
“Definitely,” Yoongi says, soft but assured, and Seokjin believes him.
Seokjin watches him exit the coffee shop with his heart inexplicably fluttering in his chest and if he happens to give himself three paper cuts while re-filing a mess of old contracts later that day, no one but him has to know.
“He’s younger than me,” Seokjin says, typing furiously into his phone, fingers tap-tap-tapping out some kind of message to Yoongi before backspacing the entire paragraph when his nerves get the better of him. He’s not used to wanting to impress someone as much as he wants to impress Min Yoongi.
Jungkook scoffs. “Of course he is.”
Seokjin scowls. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you’re like eight centuries old. It’s going to be a challenge to find anyone older than you.” Jungkook lets out an exaggerated sigh. “I can’t imagine all the simple pleasures in life you’ll never know, like being able to call someone ‘hyung.’”
“‘All the simple pleasures in life,’” Seokjin copies childishly, and maybe his maturity level is closer to Jungkook’s than it should be. “What do you know about life? Claiming you learned the secrets of the universe while jacking off with hot Cheeto dust on your fingers after a 48-hour Overwatch gaming binge doesn’t count as life experience.”
“Stop changing the subject, hyung,” Jungkook says pointedly. “When you are you going to see him again?”
“Oh, I—” Seokjin stutters to a halt, fumbling his words and aborting his movement halfway. Curse Jungkook for always throwing him off his train of thought. “I’m—I’m not sure, right now. I think I was seeing him more often on accident when I wasn’t expecting it than now when I’m hoping for it.”
“Maybe you should stop expecting it then.” Jungkook slaps him on the shoulder. “Isn’t luck supposed to be unpredictable by nature, anyway?”
“It’s not unpredictable for me,” Seokjin pouts, crossing his arms and slumping into his seat.
Jungkook rolls his eyes. “It’s not the end of the world, hyung. Isn’t ‘just keep swimming’ your motto or whatever? Look, I’d love to stay and hear you whine about your crush, but I’ve got to go food shopping for Jimin’s birthday thing tomorrow. He’s got a whole bunch of people he’s invited, so we need more than what’s in the fridge. You’re still coming, right?”
“Yeah, of course.” Seokjin says, internally reminding himself to wrap the birthday gift he had gotten him. He opens the text stream between him and Yoongi again and sends, busy tomorrow :( are you free next week?
Jungkook exits his apartment in a flurry of movement, punctuating his departure with a yell, “Good luck with your guy!”
Seokjin’s phone buzzes with a text from Yoongi the moment Jungkook slams the door behind him that reads, I’m busy tomorrow too :( I’m free on Tuesday and Thursday though. We could do coffee again?
Seokjin sighs, dropping his phone into his lap.
Tuesday and Thursday are the only days he isn’t free next week.
‘Good luck’ is right.
Had Seokjin been expecting to see Min Yoongi on the night of Jimin’s birthday get-together? No, but then he hadn’t expected to see Min Yoongi any of the other times he’d seen him, either. Yet there he sits in the corner of Jimin’s couch, sipping a glass of wine with his feet bare, his knees bent, and his cheeks flushed prettily.
(Jungkook’s intuition had been right again. He’ll really have to look into that at some point.)
“Ah, Yoongi-yah, looks like our separate plans could have been mutual plans.” Seokjin says, readjusting his grip on his own glass of wine and leaning a hip against the arm of the couch. They’d both been so busy lately, busy enough that Seokjin might have wondered whether Yoongi had just been blowing him off, if not for the way Seokjin’s own schedule had been near full to bursting. Walk-in consultations and Miracles had left him with barely enough time to rest for himself, let alone the ability to commit to a firm (intentional) meeting.
Yoongi tilts his head back to peer at Seokjin through half-lidded eyes. “I didn’t know you knew Jimin.”
“You don’t seem very surprised.”
“Jimin knows a lot of beautiful people.”
Seokjin can’t tell if it was a slip of the tongue, an accident from wine-loosened lips, or if it was said with the flirty edge he thinks it was, but he lets the buzz of alcohol in his chest give him the courage to say, “We flock together, you know. All of Jimin’s friends: a flock of eights and nines in a land of fours and one ten.”
“Who’s the ten?” Yoongi asks, bringing the wine glass to his lips to take another sip.
Seokjin leans in conspiratorially to whisper, “The ten is Jungkook, but you’re not allowed to tell him.”
Yoongi smiles around the rim of his glass, teeth flashing from below the bow of his upper lip. Seokjin shifts, hand lifting to find the cushioned back of the couch near Yoongi’s head and prop himself up. Yoongi’s eyes flicker to his and then away again. “No promises; he seems like a good kid to have on my side.”
Seokjin scowls, playfully nudging Yoongi’s shoulder. He jostles him a little too hard and wine sloshes over the edge of his own glass and onto the beige couch cushions. Yoongi jolts in surprise, but the wine somehow seems to have missed his clothing altogether and landed only on the worn fabric of Jimin’s furniture.
“Why does stuff keep happening to me whenever you’re around,” Seokjin groans, covering his face with his hands and attracting Jimin’s attention from across the room where he’d been busy making eyes at Jungkook.
“Did you—did you just dump red wine on my couch?” Jimin asks, hurrying over and assessing the situation, but he looks more concerned than upset. He disappears for a moment to grab a towel from the kitchen, before returning to stand in front of both Seokjin and Yoongi. He rests one hand on Seokjin’s arm, worry evident on his face even as he haphazardly dabs at the stains with the other. “Is everything alright? Are you okay?”
Yoongi smacks lightly at Jimin’s hand holding the towel and takes over the cleanup. He says, “I’ve got it,” just as Jungkook appears over Jimin’s shoulder to say, “Jin-hyung doesn’t want to talk about it.”
Seokjin groans again, the sound slightly muffled through his fingers. “I’m so sorry.”
“Ah, no worries, hyung,” Jimin says, soothingly, “It’s an old couch anyway; there are much worse stains on there just from me and Jungkook alone, not even counting that time we had Taehyung over—”
“—ugh, please don’t tell me about it.” Seokjin cuts him off with a disgusted noise in the back of his throat. “I can’t believe I keep messing up stuff like this.”
Yoongi looks up from where he’s crouching in front of the couch. “It’s kind of endearing, to be honest. Kind of reminds me of my friend. The one I gave the charm to?”
Seokjin’s shoulders droop. “Oh. The unlucky one.”
Jungkook elbows Jimin in the ribs unsubtly and says, with unnecessary emphasis, “Looks like Yoongi-hyung has it covered for right now. Maybe we should check on the snack table? I think Taehyung’s eaten all of the spinach-artichoke dip again.”
“Oh, right, yeah.” Jimin shifts on his feet awkwardly, pats Seokjin on the arm, and then murmurs, “I’m not mad,” before trailing away.
“I’m not sure he’s ‘unlucky’ so much as he is unfortunately clumsy,” Yoongi frowns, referring to Seokjin’s earlier statement.
“I’m not sure I see the difference.” Seokjin grumbles.
“Well, he’s not so unlucky anymore.” Yoongi say, choosing not to argue. He glances at Jungkook and Jimin’s retreating forms.
“Maybe we swapped.” Seokjin sighs heavily. “How inconvenient.”
“I think it’s cute.”
“Oh?” Seokjin perks up. He’s always been good at turning a situation in his favor, whether it’s with the Luck or otherwise. How could he have forgotten that? “Is that so?”
Yoongi nods, eyes twinkling like he knows something Seokjin doesn’t. “Mhm, very cute.”
“Lucky you get to experience the complete Kim Seokjin Miracle package so frequently, then.”
“I’d like to experience it more often, I think.”
“Just say the word and I’m there.” Seokjin says, because at some point there’s no reason to play it cool.
“I think we’re having more success seeing each other by accident,” Yoongi says, patting the wine stain one last time before standing upright. “Seems like maybe we’ll have better luck if we don’t plan it, so we just end up running into each other again.”
“I think it’s more likely that I’ll run into you,” Seokjin says, mentally running through all the times he’s tripped over, spilled, or jammed something in Yoongi’s presence. Suddenly the frequency seems suspicious, a strange new thought hovering around the edges of his mind, but he’s tipsy enough that the thought doesn’t solidify, tipsy enough that he’d rather focus on Yoongi there in front of him than on coincidences.
Yoongi steps closer, just barely, the fabric of his jeans brushing against Seokjin’s knee. “I’m looking forward to it.”
(Seokjin doesn’t know if it’s his own Luck bringing him to Yoongi—or Yoongi to him—or if it’s some other kind of Luck, one that he might not want any part of. He thinks it’s his Luck, because even when things look like they’re going wrong (as wrong as they could be, anyway, for Seokjin), he always ends up on the winning side.
Maybe this time it’s just taking longer than normal.
Seokjin does run into Yoongi again, but it’s after a week of no in-person contact, just texting back and forth, joking and light and easy. (Oh, Jungkook is a Miracle alright, Seokjin sends, but not professionally.
Recreationally, then. Yoongi sends back, making Seokjin snicker behind his hand while Jungkook eyes him with suspicion.)
The sky’s been dreary all day, the forecast predicting heavy rains in the early afternoon. Seokjin had been stuck without an umbrella since his ladybug one had broken months earlier, but he’d been Lucky enough to avoid getting caught in the rain even with all the strange incidents.
He ducks into the convenience store just in time to grab the last umbrella in the bin as the rain starts pouring buckets outside.
“Good timing,” the clerk says, eyeing the inclement weather through the crowded window.
“Yeah, I’ll say.” Seokjin slides his payment across the counter and waits patiently; he’s nowhere near eager to go back out so soon. The season is rapidly cooling down after an unusually warm autumn, enough so that the rain seems icy and sharp, the kind that would hurt.
The clerk hands him his change carefully. “Be careful out there.”
“Don’t have to tell me twice.” Seokjin jokes, watching as people dash about, huddling beneath cafe outcroppings and covering their heads with whatever is in their hands they don’t find too valuable to get wet.
He waits until there’s a minor lull in the downpour, nods cheerily to the clerk, and rushes into the fray with his new umbrella opened and ready to face the elements. The rain starts pelting him almost immediately, cold and harsh against his exposed fingers.
Truthfully, he’s not entirely focused on where he’s going. The rain is suddenly so heavy he makes a beeline back to his office, trusting his feet to take him where he needs to go—he’s been on this route so many times, it’s almost second nature, and the streets are entirely empty now that everyone’s scurried to their own destinations.
Almost empty, anyway.
The streets might have been entirely empty, if not for Yoongi (of course), whom Seokjin—with his head down and his umbrella up—knocks into harshly as he nears his office, hard enough that Yoongi stumbles back from the momentum with a muttered, “ow.”
Seokjin drops his (brand new) umbrella in surprise and watches in stunned silence as a strong gust of wind sweeps it into the air and away into the distance.
“Yoongi-yah?” Seokjin squints past the water running into his eyes.
Yoongi wordlessly lifts his own umbrella higher, which had survived the impact, to cover them both and ushers Seokjin with a palm pressed lightly into the dip of his lower back into the nearest bakery where several other people had also taken refuge. He closes the umbrella and shuffles them into the back of the line.
“I really did run into you this time.” Seokjin gasps, shifting away and half-turning to face Yoongi, whose hand slides from the small of Seokjin’s back to the curve of his hip in the process. He nervously pats the area of Yoongi’s chest he’d hit before snatching his hand away when he realizes what he’s doing. “Fuck. Sorry.”
“Self-fulfilling prophecy,” Yoongi says with a small laugh that makes his eyes go all twinkly and Seokjin’s heart all fluttery.
“I guess I did get to see you again,” Seokjin flirts, painfully obvious, even though he’s drenched and shivering. He can feel the warmth of Yoongi’s hand through the layers of his clothes where it’s remained in contact with his body since they first walked in. “So it’s not all bad.”
“It does seem like something’s been throwing us together lately, doesn’t it?” Yoongi asks, raising an eyebrow, but it’s clearly meant to be a rhetorical question. There’s a pointed gleam in his eye that Seokjin chooses to overlook.
“I’m just lucky like that.” Seokjin says, with a smile and a wink that Yoongi returns with a grin of his own.
“Well,” Yoongi starts, drawing the word out, “I think I can take a hint. When’s your usual lunch break?”
Seokjin gestures to the crowded bakery around them. “It could be right now.”
Yoongi takes another step forward in the line, squinting hard to read the overhead drink and food menu. “I don’t have nearly enough time left on my own lunch break for the amount of time I want to spend with you.”
As much as Seokjin doesn’t want to admit it, he flusters easily. “Oh, well, I have an hour-long lunch break around noon, usually.”
“Tomorrow, then? On purpose? I’ll drop by Epiphany.”
Seokjin nods, firmly. “Yes, tomorrow, on purpose.”
“I think he’s bad Luck, or—I don’t know. He’s something.” Seokjin says, nervously. After parting ways with Yoongi, Seokjin had, in order: dropped one of his pastries on the wet ground outside, physically run into a customer exiting his shop, and accidentally unplugged his computer before he could save his work. “Not anything too bad, but—something ealways happens. It’s really weird.”
“Can someone literally be bad Luck though?” Jungkook asks, skeptical, as though he doesn’t work for a small business providing Miracles on a daily basis in exchange for money. As though he isn’t carrying a handful of files for Seokjin to review for that very business. As though he doesn’t greet every potential customer with a cheerful “Hello, welcome to Epiphany! Looking for a Miracle?”
“If someone can be good Luck,” Seokjin says, pointedly, “then surely the opposite must exist.”
“But it’s only you, right? He’s not experiencing any bad Luck around you, is he?”
Seokjin gasps. “You can’t just ask a person that.”
“But is he?”
“No, it doesn’t seem like it,” Seokjin says reluctantly, frowning and crossing his arms over his chest. “It’s just me, and only after I’ve seen him.”
Jungkook sighs and sets down the stack of pro bono client requests in his hands, half covering the pastry box on Seokjin’s desk. “Are you sure you’re not just being—I don’t know. Paranoid or something? Attaching meaning to unrelated situations?”
“How many coincidences make a pattern?” Seokjin pushes the stack off to the side, nearly knocking it to the floor, if not for the way Jungkook swoops in to the rescue and catches the files before they can slide off Seokjin’s desk entirely. Clearly, Jungkook is having no ill-effects from Yoongi’s presence. “How many accidents does someone have to have to make them unlucky?”
“It’s just coffee, hyung.” Jungkook says, after gently moving the files to a more secure location on Seokjin’s desk. “You’ll be fine. You’ll have a good time. If something does go wrong, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
“You’re right; it’s just coffee!” Seokjin repeats with a laugh, mentally willing away the anxiety even as his mind trips and stutters over every instance of Things That Have Gone Wrong. “What could possibly go wrong?”
Everything could go wrong.
Seokjin makes a fool of himself three times before they even make it to the table.
The coffee shop is bustling with energy and a decent-sized crowd for a Wednesday afternoon, but Yoongi’s request is simple and he receives his order relatively quickly. In the rush, the baristas forget Seokjin’s order entirely. Feeling frazzled for making Yoongi wait alone at the table for so long, he hurries over only to bump into another exiting customer and spills his drink all over himself, the other person, and the floor. When one barista comes over to mop the whole mess up, Seokjin stumbles over their bucket of soapy water and manages to knock that over, too.
Seokjin pulls his hat down farther over his burning ears, apologizes profusely, and then nervously asks if he could get a replacement drink.
“I’m tired of getting coffee on my white sweaters,” Seokjin sighs, once everything calms down. He stretches his legs out beneath the table, his ankle brushing Yoongi’s across from him. He tangles their feet together on purpose and hopes nobody looks at them too closely.
Yoongi shoots him an odd look over the rim of his cup and, at first, Seokjin thinks with a jolt that the ankle thing made it Weird™️, but then Yoongi says, “Been getting a lot of coffee on your extensive collection of white sweaters lately, have you?”
“I’m saving it for later,” Seokjin says breezily.
“I shudder to see your dry-cleaning bill.” Yoongi’s eyes zero in on the light brown stain drying around Seokjin’s hem. There’s a smile playing in the corners of Yoongi’s mouth and Seokjin’s beyond charmed at the sight of it.
“Don’t worry; I get a discount. The equivalent of frequent flyer miles and all that.” Seokjin’s dry cleaning bill is through the roof, actually, but there’s no way he’s revealing that little tidbit except under pain of death. Something in him is making him hold his tongue, afraid to make it known how much Yoongi’s presence affects his Luck—and it is affecting his Luck. Seokjin’s sure of it; never mind Jungkook’s skepticism on the matter.
(For having a surprisingly—read: suspiciously—reliable gut instinct, Jungkook just isn’t getting it this time. But then Seokjin would be out of a job, if he stopped listening to his own gut instincts.)
At the heart of it, Seokjin can handle a few bumps and bruises, a papercut here and there, a stained sweater that he can’t wear in public. He can handle it, if it means seeing Yoongi.
It’s a fair exchange, he thinks. Seokjin’s reaped the rewards of his Luck for years upon years. Some of the things he’s most proud of in life have only come about as a result of Luck; it’s as much a part of him as his lips, his shoulders, his sense of humor. Yoongi smiles at him from across the table and Seokjin returns it, hoping that his heart isn’t showing in his eyes. He could argue that his Luck might have even brought him to Yoongi, the resulting bad Luck notwithstanding.
Seokjin thinks, what’s a little bad luck every once in a while? and ignores the strange feeling in the pit of his stomach that worries about business contracts and risk-vs-reward and long-term consequences.
What’s a little bad luck? Seokjin thinks again and slides his hand across the table, the tips of his fingers brushing Yoongi’s, and then curling around them.
He’s Kim Seokjin.
There’s no such thing as his good Luck running out.
“So, I have this Miracle Experience called the Plus One Package,” Seokjin says, while they’re both slouched against each other on Yoongi’s couch, “where I basically attend networking events, or important evenings, as someone’s ‘date.’”
Yoongi raises an eyebrow. “Are you… telling me you’re going on a date with someone soon?”
“Oh, no—it’s not a real date,” Seokjin hurries to say, jolting upright, flustered, “and it’s not even—it’s more like being a wingman anyway, but I call it the ‘Plus One Package’ because it’s catchier. More appealing to potential clients. I’m just there to facilitate opportunities and, you know, help whoever it is to get through it, and—”
Seokjin cuts himself off abruptly, and then says, almost shy, “This is mostly to say I’d like to take you on a real date.”
“You know what the first step to taking me on a date is?” Yoongi asks, leaning forward conspiratorially. When Seokjin raises a questioning eyebrow, he says, “Actually asking me on one instead of waiting to luck out when an opportunity presents itself.”
“You may have a point there,” Seokjin says, collecting himself, “but as a Roman philosopher once said, ‘luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity,’ and I consider myself very prepared.”
“Sounds to me like you’re just stalling,” Yoongi pouts.
“Maybe I am stalling; you’re just so pretty, Yoongi-yah. You make me very nervous.” Seokjin says, because he can, and because he’s learned he gets a thrill from flustering Yoongi.
Yoongi flushes as pink as expected, and Seokjin covers his mouth to hide his grin.
“Ah, stop,” Yoongi says, embarrassed, ducking his head in that cute little way of his.
“Let me take you on a date then.”
Seokjin’s heart stutters and jumps when Yoongi agrees, even though Seokjin had been the one saying it. He’s always been good at faking confidence.
Turning down Yoongi’s lunch invitations is worth it if only for the satisfaction of securing reservations at the nicest restaurant Seokjin could possibly find within his budget. When he hangs up with the hostess—who had barely hidden the surprise in her voice when she told him that a time slot had just opened up only minutes ago due to a cancelation and isn’t that fortuitous?—Seokjin revels in that satisfaction.
The tangible spot of good Luck makes him feel golden and unstoppable, and his first thought is one wishing that that glow could be shared with Yoongi.
But there are different kinds of glows, he thinks, and the one that will come from seeing Yoongi is just as good as, if not better than, the rest.
Wear something nice! Seokjin sends to Yoongi as a reminder. You’re getting wined-and-dined!
Am I getting the full One True Miracle experience this evening?
Seokjin laughs quietly to himself. Yes, please wear your Sunday best. Your Miracle experience begins at 6pm sharp.
Can’t wait, Yoongi sends, and then a triplicate of heart emojis that make Seokjin want to scream into his pillow. He would have done it, too, at least in the privacy of his own home, if not for the fact that he’d dropped by Jungkook’s apartment earlier for an outfit inspection.
“Hot date tonight?” Jimin asks, eyeing Seokjin’s outfit top-to-bottom. Seokjin hums in affirmation. “Hope you get lucky, then.”
“I always do.” Seokjin says with a wink, fixing his cuff. Wearing his Get Some (Sweet Lovin’) outfit? Check. Dinner reservations at a highly sought-after 5-star restaurant? Check. Handsome face? Check. Min Yoongi won’t know what hit him.
“I’m sorry, sir, what was the name on the reservation again?” The hostess asks, polite as anything.
“Kim Seokjin, for two,” Seokjin says. Yoongi stands next to him in silence and Seokjin feels the humiliation creeping up the back of his neck.
The hostess runs the tip of her finger down the list, eyes moving back and forth over the names written in the book. She pauses on one, glances back into the main area of restaurant, where it’s clearly packed to full capacity. “I’m so sorry, sir; it looks like your reservation was missed and your table given to someone else. We have no seating currently available for you and your guest.”
“Oh. Really?” Seokjin says, awkwardly, shifting back and forth on his feet with nervous energy. “When will another table be available?”
The hostess looks back once more, and then down at the reservation book again, visibly holding back a grimace. “Perhaps… four months, sir?”
“Four—I’m sorry, did you say ‘four months?’”
Yoongi brushes his fingers against the palm of Seokjin’s hand, soft and discreet. “Hyung, I was in the mood for lamb skewers or something, anyway.”
His hand twitches against Yoongi’s, and he catches Yoongi’s pinky finger with his own, hidden between the numerous folds of their outerwear. He tries not to sound defeated when he says, “yeah, okay,” and then, to the hostess, “thanks, anyway.”
Later, when they’re huddled close together beneath a street vendor’s plastic tent, Yoongi says, “it’s only one reservation, hyung. It’s okay.”
“I’m supposed to be wining and dining you.” Seokjin says with a pout. He’d avoided meeting with Yoongi for two whole days, so that his residual bad Luck wouldn’t influence his making reservations. “This isn’t wining and dining; this is meat sticks and beer. It doesn’t even rhyme.”
“I like meat sticks and beer.”
Seokjin hums sadly. “I like meat sticks and beer, too. I just wanted it to be nice for once.”
“It’s always nice with you.” Yoongi says, a secret smile tucked into the corner of his mouth. He presses his thigh to Seokjin’s beneath the table. “You look very handsome, with your fancy dress shirt and greasy fingers.”
Seokjin groans, failing to resist the urge to bury his face in his hands.
“You look handsome,” he says, through his fingers, “and I was going to wine and dine you, and then we were going to go for a walk along the Cheonggyecheon, and then I was going to kiss you, and it was going to be very romantic and perfect, because nothing ever goes wrong for me, and I wanted the first time I kissed you to be remembered as something good.”
“It is something good, hyung,” Yoongi says, soft, dropping his hand to Seokjin’s thigh. “It’s good because you’re here, and I’m here, and we’re together. It’s something good.”
“I’m going to kiss you later,” Seokjin says, firmly, even though his ears are burning red with embarrassment. “I’m going to kiss you goodnight, and then I’m going to go home to my apartment and continue thinking about you until I see you again. Sound good?”
“I think that sounds great, hyung,” Yoongi says, voice warm and fond in the cold night air. “I can’t wait.”
Seokjin does kiss him goodnight, soft and wet and deep. He feels brave in the darkness, presses their mouths together against his apartment door so eagerly he accidentally bites Yoongi’s bottom lip in the process. Yoongi makes a small sound, high in the back of his throat, and another swell of embarrassment rises in Seokjin’s chest until he realizes—the way Yoongi had clenched his fingers around the material of Seokjin’s coat, had opened his mouth wider in response—Yoongi had liked it.
“Sorry,” he whispers anyway, kissing Yoongi just beneath the corner of his jaw, “didn’t mean to.”
“‘S okay,” Yoongi says, running his hands up and down Seokjin’s sides, gentle and soothing. Seokjin shivers, both from the cold and Yoongi’s palms against his waist. “Kiss me again, hyung, please.”
And Seokjin leans down, connects their mouths quiet and slow, sucking Yoongi’s bitten bottom lip between his own and soothing the sting with his tongue. He pulls away, pressing one more kiss to the corner of Yoongi’s mouth, the apple of his cheek, the thin skin of his eyelid.
“See?” Yoongi says, his warm breath between them visible in the cold air. “It was something good after all.”
Seokjin laughs, false bravado and nerves making him pretend he doesn’t notice the way his hands are shaking when he stuffs them in his own jacket pockets. “Of course it’s good. I’m here, aren’t I?”
Yoongi stares up at him, a smile curving his eyes in the moonlight.
“Of course it’s good,” Seokjin says again, quieter. “Because we’re here together.”
“I wonder where you got that idea,” Yoongi muses coyly. He looks so good, so soft, with his mouth kissed swollen and red, and his cheeks flushed, and his eyes glittering like stars, and even with everything that’s gone wrong this evening alone, Seokjin can’t believe something this good is happening to him.
“Really couldn’t say.” He says, instead. He takes a step back, cold air rushing into the space left by his body. He shivers. “One for the road?”
“Text me when you get home, okay?” Yoongi asks, punching in the code to unlock his door, after pressing his lips to Seokjin’s once more. Seokjin hums his assent and takes another step back, resisting the pull of Yoongi’s orbit that begs him to come closer, where Yoongi is warm and beautiful and inviting.
Seokjin’s lips are still kiss-swollen by the time he arrives back at his apartment, still tingling after the shower he takes after texting Yoongi, still warm by the time he settles into bed. If he closes his eyes he can still feel Yoongi’s mouth against his, the grip of Yoongi’s hands on his hips before he’d turned away to go inside, and—abruptly, he rolls to his side, sheets crisp and rustling beneath him, and he wishes he weren’t alone.
His phone lights up with a notification, a response from Yoongi that says, Next time, I’ll kiss you twice as long.
“Have you ordered more of the 24-hour charms yet?” Seokjin asks, weeks later, peering into another cardboard box on the shelf in the storeroom. “It looks like we’re almost out of backstock.”
Jungkook pokes his head around Seokjin’s shoulder to glance at the “It’s Your Lucky Day!” charms in question. “Oh, yeah. They’re definitely on the restock list. They’ve been selling really well lately. I think a popular Instagram influencer might have made a post about them recently? Tagged the shop or something?”
The 24-hour Luck charms have always sold well—(Need a boost? It’s your Lucky day! This charm is best used for important events like interviews, first dates, and proposals!)—but Seokjin snorts derisively, closing the lid on the box after marking down the quantities on his chart. “An Instagram influencer, huh?”
“One could argue you’re an influencer, too, hyung. Like, of fate and shit.”
“I can’t wait to update my signs and business cards to say: Kim Seokjin, Professional Miracle and Verified Influencer of Fate and Shit.” Seokjin says, grandly, followed by a satisfied sigh. “I think it would really catch on.”
“No, that’s tacky as fuck. That’s not my brand at all.”
“It’s not like it’d be anywhere close to the tackiest thing you’ve ever done,” Jungkook says, darkly, jabbing Seokjin in the kidney with a knuckle to make him jump. “Probably not even, like, Top Five Tackiest Things.”
“Name one thing more tacky than—” Seokjin stands upright, turning to Jungkook and holding a hand in front of his mouth. “—Actually, don’t answer that.”
Jungkook pushes Seokjin’s hand away. “Are you sure you don’t want to rehash that time you—”
“Stop speaking. Do not, under any circumstances, finish that sentence.”
“How have your appointments been going?” Jungkook asks, a moment later. The tone of his voice is off, a strange inflection that makes Seokjin freeze like a deer in headlights, his shoulders hunching in protectively.
“They’ve been going great.” They have not been going great. They have been going well, which is a far cry from Seokjin’s usual. His Miracles are appropriately successful within the parameters set by each individual contract and contractee.
It’s fine. It’s going well.
It’s not going great, but that’s to be expected in his situation.
He saw Yoongi two nights ago, lounged with him on Yoongi’s couch, talking to him for hours, until he pressed him into the cushions and slid his hands over the bumps of Yoongi’s ribs beneath his shirt, learning the shape of his bare collarbones and hips, and the taste of his skin. The bad Luck had followed him the next day (an important invoice misplaced here, a new bruise there), but his consultations and contracts had gone well.
Seokjin’s accepted the bad Luck that follows.
“Has it really been going great?” Jungkook tries to catch Seokjin’s gaze, but Seokjin doesn’t let him.
Seokjin sighs. “They’ve been going well. Things are getting done; you know they are. You file all the invoices and the contract agreements. I’m as successful as I have been. My ‘success and satisfaction rate’ is untouched.”
“What about—” Jungkook hesitates, biting his lip.
“—Yoongi?” Seokjin finishes, brashly, just to put Jungkook out of his misery. He stares at the computer screen in front of him so hard his eyes start to hurt. “It’s fine. I really like him, you know?”
“I know you like him, hyung, but didn’t you think he was bad Luck or something?”
“Spilling coffee and getting paper cuts isn’t that big of a deal, anyway. That happens to people all the time.” Seokjin’s not entirely sure if he’s reassuring himself or Jungkook.
“If you’re sure it’s fine…” Jungkook trails off.
“It’s fine.” Seokjin says again, and he means it.
(Seokjin’s always been Lucky, but nothing’s ever made him feel as light and glowing and good as the sigh of Yoongi’s breath against Seokjin’s cheek after they kiss, as the flutter of his eyelashes after he takes a sip of coffee (and the dart of his tongue on his bottom lip to catch the last of it), as the sound of Yoongi’s fingers dragging along Seokjin’s bedsheets in the early morning.
There’s an achingly fond grin on Jungkook’s face now when Seokjin tells him about his and Yoongi’s dates afterwards. Jungkook’s unspoken approval is a reassurance Seokjin hadn’t known he needed.
He likes Yoongi so, so much. He likes the way he laughs at his jokes, the way he smiles when he’s happy, the way his lips go soft and pliant when Seokjin presses their mouths together over and over again. He likes the way Yoongi’s hands feel on the cage of his ribs, or the slope of his neck, or the bones of his wrist. He likes the way Yoongi’s eyes are dark and warm in the chill of the evenings they spend together, in a way Seokjin feels deep in the pit of his stomach, that he knows he’ll be thinking of later when he’s alone.
He’s always thinking of Yoongi, nowadays.
His Luck seems to have taken a mild break, but what does it matter if what he gets instead is Yoongi? Who needs gift vouchers and free drinks and winning rock-paper-scissors against Jungkook every time if it means that he gets to have Yoongi?)
(There is one more universal constant in Seokjin’s world: if he doesn’t put his whole heart in it, he won’t get hurt.)
(He’s never had much trouble staying at arm’s length before.)
Hey, want to come over for dinner? Seokjin sends to Yoongi, and then begins rifling through the stack of takeout menus in his kitchen drawer left over from Jungkook’s many visits. It’s not that Seokjin can’t cook; it’s that he’s wary of the potential for cooking mishaps with his Luck being what it is. Better safe than sorry.
Are you cooking? Yoongi asks, barely a minute later and Seokjin freezes like he’s been caught doing something he shouldn’t, before he willfully forces himself to relax.
Seconds after he’s read the text, Seokjin’s phone rings. Incoming call: Min Yoongi.
“Are you cooking?” Yoongi asks, in lieu of a hello.
Seokjin sets the takeout menus on the counter, trying to hide the smile in his voice. “Are you nervous, Yoongi-ssi? I assure you I’m perfectly capable of providing dinner.”
“Oh, really? Sure you’re not avoiding the question, hyung?” There’s a teasing lilt to Yoongi’s words, and something else that sounds almost like worry. (But Yoongi has no need to worry, not about Seokjin.)
“The dinner may come in a box and it may also be cooked by someone else’s hands,” Seokjin says, “but I am, as I said, perfectly capable of providing it. Do you have any preferences?”
Yoongi hums. “Something both spicy and sweet.”
“The duality of man,” Seokjin says, sagely, and then, “Come by around 7:30?”
“I’ll be there at exactly 7:29 and no later.” After a moment, Yoongi says, quietly, “I’d like to cook for you next time. You could come to my place, if you want.”
Seokjin gasps. “Are you going to wine-and-dine me this time?”
“If you’d let me.”
“I think I’d let you do most things, Yoongi-yah.” Seokjin says, softly. He worries at the corner of one menu with his fingers and clears his throat. “See you soon.”
“See you soon, hyung.” Yoongi repeats and then hangs up, leaving Seokjin alone with his thoughts.
“So, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.” Seokjin says, after letting Yoongi inside his apartment and sliding Yoongi’s winter coat off his shoulders. “Which do you want to hear first?”
“Okay, the good news is that the takeout I ordered is both spicy and sweet.” Seokjin ushers Yoongi further into his apartment with a palm on his lower back and tosses his coat over the back of the couch. “The bad news is that the takeout isn’t coming. Because they lost my order. Again.”
“Oh.” Yoongi’s face runs through a complicated set of emotions before settling on ‘carefully unaffected.’ “Huh. Well, I guess that next time I mentioned is now. What’s the state of the contents in your refrigerator?”
“Uh, sparse? I haven’t been cooking much lately.”
After stepping into the kitchen and peering into Seokjin’s semi-neglected fridge for a long moment, Yoongi says, “I can work with this.”
He does work with it, quick and efficient in a way that Seokjin hasn’t seen yet. He’s gathered a number of odds and ends from Seokjin’s fridge—a jar of month-old kimchi, the last of his tofu, scallions, gochujang, gochugaru, the cloves of garlic Seokjin keeps buying and using even though he’s mildly allergic. The deftness of Yoongi’s fingers as he preps the ingredients almost makes Seokjin’s mouth water more than the food itself. “Seems like you’re quite the chef, Yoongi-yah.”
“Gordon Ramsey himself told me that watching me cook was like staring into the eyes of god and finally understanding what it truly means to be ‘at peace.’” Yoongi says. “Also my older brother is a chef and he may have taught me a few tips and tricks.”
“You’re a man of many talents, but I already knew that.” Seokjin says, sidling up behind Yoongi and nuzzling into the crook of his shoulder.
“I’m also a man holding a very sharp knife.” Yoongi warns, even as he leans into the touch.
Seokjin mouths at the back of his neck. “Sexy.”
Yoongi huffs out a laugh and nudges Seokjin away.
“We hardly ever stay in to eat. Do you like cooking?” Seokjin asks, bracing his hip against the counter. Yoongi’s sleeves are rolled up to his elbows, forearms flexing as he chops vegetables in a manner that suggests he does it often. Seokjin steals a miniscule slice of green onion, just because he can.
“Yah, stop that,” Yoongi scolds, slapping him lightly on the wrist, as if out of habit. He pulls his hand back sheepishly. Yoongi turns his attention back to the cutting board. “I like cooking. I especially like taking care of the people I care about.”
“Tell me, Yoongi-yah, do you like taking care of me?”
“I live to serve, my liege.”
The affectionate tone of Yoongi’s voice is at odds with the teasing response and, even though he’d set himself up for it, Seokjin still ducks his head, trying to hide the blush that rises to his cheeks. “Ah, stop. How was work?”
Yoongi visibly fights a smile. “Good. I had an on-site inspection of the library’s renovations today and everything is going well. It’s coming together really smoothly. They’ve needed an expansion for a while, so I’m glad any of the problems that have come up have been able to be dealt with quickly.”
“Got anything new coming up?” Seokjin asks, eyeballing the meat and kimchi Yoongi has currently sizzling in a pot.
“Ah, not too much,” Yoongi says, stirring the contents in the pot to cook them more evenly, before mixing in the remainder of the ingredients he’d prepped and covering it all with the lid to simmer, “just the usual, I guess.”
“I like your usual; tell me more.”
“Some restoration projects and a few new residential design clients. Busy, but not too busy. It’s good.” Yoongi fiddles with his phone to set a timer. He steps a safe distance away from the stove, boxing Seokjin in against the counter with his arms. “You haven’t kissed me properly yet.”
“How terribly remiss of me to neglect you so,” Seokjin says, hooking a finger in the belt loop of Yoongi’s slacks and tugging to bring their hips closer together. “I will rectify that immediately.”
Sometime later, with the sound of Yoongi’s phone timer ringing in their ears, Yoongi reluctantly pulls away from Seokjin’s embrace to check on their food. Seokjin’s arms miss the weight of him almost instantly.
“Here, try this,” Yoongi says, after lifting the lid on the pot and dipping a spoon into the broth. He raises it to Seokjin’s mouth, a hand cupped beneath it to catch any drips.
“Yes, Chef. Anything you say, Chef.” Seokjin says with an overly flirty tone, wiggling his eyebrows and crowding in close again. He carefully closes his mouth around the spoon to taste the broth and groans. “Mm, now that’s what I call a Miracle.”
Yoongi rolls his eyes, but he smiles all the same.
(The thing about Yoongi is that he’s just so good.
Seokjin doesn’t understand the bad Luck that surrounds him whenever Yoongi is around.
Yoongi asks, “How’s your business going?” and “What sort of Miracles have you performed lately?” and “Anything exciting?” and Seokjin deflects every question with a cheeky comment before turning the attention to Yoongi’s own work.
Yoongi takes pride in his work and Seokjin loves seeing Yoongi’s eyes light up as he excitedly shows Seokjin the buildings he’s worked on in the past, the designs that he’s created for new clients, the new floor plans for his dream house that he wants to build one day. The man is wild about lighting fixtures and crown molding and the intersection of modern day architecture with traditional Korean art and design—listening to Yoongi talk about anything is enjoyable, but listening to Yoongi talk about the things he loves is even more so.
Getting Yoongi to talk about himself is a treat in and of itself.
Besides, there’s only so much for Seokjin to say about his own business to Yoongi when he’s certain the quality of his work is dropping, no matter how much he wants to avoid thinking about it. Putting it into words would just make it worse.
It’s better to focus on the good parts anyway.)
“Kim Seokjin-ssi,” Yoongi says, poking his head into Seokjin’s office the next day. “I’d like to order one Professional Miracle to-go, please.”
“Ah, Min Yoongi-ssi, back again so soon, are we?” Seokjin asks, playing along. He pushes his reading glasses further up the bridge of his nose and relaxes into his chair. “What Miracle package are you looking for today?”
“The package where me and you go and get Chinese hot pot for dinner later.”
Seokjin sucks in a slow breath between his teeth. “I’m not sure you can afford that package on such a busy day, Yoongi-ssi; it’ll cost you.”
“And what exactly will it cost me?” Yoongi’s eyes are bright, his smile relaxed and fond.
Seokjin pretends to think it over. “It’ll come to an even… forty kisses.”
“What, no boyfriend discount? Thirty kisses.”
“Don’t push your luck. Thirty-five kisses.”
“You know, Seokjin-ssi, I’ve heard about this cool little shop called Epiphany that sells Luck charms; do you think they have haggling charms, too?” Yoongi steps further into Seokjin’s office, lowering his voice. “Thirty-three kisses and I get to hold your hand under the table.”
“Thirty-six kisses and,” Seokjin pauses for effect, smug, “you get to hold my hand over the table.”
“Deal.” Yoongi says, immediately, and holds his hand out so they can shake on it.
“Ugh, are you kidding me?” Seokjin mutters, patting his empty pockets in a futile search for his keys.
“Problem?” Yoongi asks, resting his hands on either side of Seokjin’s waist and standing on his tip-toes to press a kiss to the back of his exposed neck.
Seokjin shivers, and not because of the gust of cold, winter wind blowing through the open corridor. He sighs heavily. “I think I locked us out of my apartment.”
Yoongi hums quietly. “Spare key?”
“I’ve—” Seokjin pauses uncomfortably. “I’ve never needed one before.”
“Never?” Yoongi asks, and the surprise is evident in his voice even if Seokjin can’t see his face. “Does anyone else have a copy?”
“Jungkook does, but it’s,” Seokjin glances at his watch, “almost 1AM. He has classes in the morning; he should be sleeping.”
“What’s the likelihood that he’s actually sleeping?”
“Not very, but—” Seokjin sighs, bowing forward and resting his forehead against the apartment door. The movement presses his hips back slightly into the cradle of Yoongi’s and, in any other situation, the connection might make him lose it, just a little. But it isn’t any other situation—it’s this one, where it’s cold, and he’s locked out of his apartment, and he keeps fucking up his and Yoongi’s dates. He just wants to kiss Yoongi in the privacy of his own home, and to keep kissing him until the only thing Seokjin can think of is the way their skin feels pressed together, but— “with the way things have been going, it’d be just my luck that he actually went to bed on time for once.”
“I think Jungkook would rather you wake him up than let you sit outside in the cold.” Yoongi says, voice pitched low and warm. He fists one hand around the fabric of Seokjin’s coat and gently tugs him downward into a sitting position, that Seokjin follows more than willingly. “Don’t be a martyr; just call him.”
Seokjin pulls out his phone, dialing Jungkook’s number (contact ID: Business Employee JK) with stiff fingers and waiting while it rings. When Jungkook finally picks up with a confused “Hello?”, Seokjin clears his throat awkwardly and says, “Jungkook-ah, it’s hyung.”
“Jin-hyung?” Jungkook asks, slurring his name just a bit in the slow, syrupy way Seokjin recognizes as sleep-ridden and drowsy. He had been asleep after all. Of course.
Seokjin tries not to look at Yoongi next to him, who’s huddled close. He hesitates, but wraps his arm across around Yoongi’s shoulders and allows him to curl in closer for warmth. “Sorry to wake you.”
“It’s fine, hyung,” Jungkook says, voice tinny through the phone’s speaker. “What’s wrong? How can I help?”
Seokjin clears his throat awkwardly. “It seems I’m, uh, locked out of my apartment.”
“Oh? No spare key?” Jungkook asks, and this time it sounds playful, a little more teasing, a little more awake.
“I wouldn’t be calling you if I had one.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t account for this in any of the contingency plans you’ve been making lately,” Jungkook says, and Seokjin’s ears start burning, because there’s no way Yoongi isn’t hearing this conversation. They’re so close, pressed tight together to reduce the wind chill and share body heat.
“I can’t be on point all the time,” Seokjin laughs, high-pitched and nervous.
Jungkook hums, and there’s a rustle of cloth through the line, and then, “Oh, I don’t know about that. Kinda seems like you are on point all the time, even when you think you’re not.”
Seokjin’s fingers, which had been creeping lower, down the length of Yoongi’s arm to ultimately cup at Yoongi’s hip, halt mid-way. He feels too seen. Yoongi huffs a laugh, and he’s definitely hearing their conversation. Seokjin says, “You bringing me the key or not?”
Jungkook laughs. “Yeah, I’ll be there in ten. You owe me, hyung.”
“Yeah,” Seokjin agrees. “I’ll give you a coupon for a free consultation.”
“I don’t think so,” Jungkook says, through more rustling, a wooden scrape, a jangling of metal. There’s a muffled, sleepy “Jungkook-ah? Where are you going?” on the other end that Jungkook answers with a quiet murmur clearly not meant for Seokjin to hear. Seokjin studiously ignores it, until he hears, “Jin-hyung? You still there?”
“Yeah,” he says, with a sigh. His face is going numb and Yoongi shivers next to him. He wants to cover Yoongi in ten thousand blankets, slip beneath it all next to him, and kiss away the chill-reddened flush on his nose and cheeks until the flush has been replaced for a different reason entirely.
Jungkook says, “I’m heading out now. See you soon.” and hangs up so that it’s just Seokjin and Yoongi and the empty hallway around them.
“Coming soon?” Yoongi asks, drowsiness beginning to blur the edges of his consonants.
“Yeah,” Seokjin says again, resting his head on top of Yoongi’s, gently tucking him beneath his chin and further into the circle of his arms. “Soon.”
“Thanks, Jungkook-ah,” Seokjin murmurs, leaving Yoongi on the couch while he escorts Jungkook back to the entryway.
“Trying to make me leave so soon?” Jungkook asks, sly, pretending to sound put-out. “After I left my nice, warm bed at 1AM to help my eldest hyung out of the kindness of my heart?”
“Cry me a river,” Seokjin says, mentally preparing himself to open the door and bracing himself for the blast of cold air when he does. “Go back to your own boy, you little demon.”
“Yeah, yeah, sure, hyung.” Jungkook pockets his key, bending down to slip on his shoes. “Don’t forget, you—”
“—owe you one, yeah, yeah. I’ll tell my people to call your people.” Seokjin opens the door, urging Jungkook through it.
“I am your people!” Jungkook protests, turning around and resting his hand on the door before Seokjin can close it.
“A technicality.” Seokjin hisses, lowering his voice. “Please call back in two to four business days to collect your allotted minor Miracle. As for right now, I have other business to attend to.”
Jungkook’s smile turns smug. “Okay, hyung. I’ll text you when I’m home.”
Seokjin’s eyes dart back to the living room, just slightly out of view, and then back to Jungkook with a glare. He says, firmly but with a deep sincerity, “Thanks again, Jungkook-ah. Let me know you made it back safe.”
Jungkook waves, once, wiggles his eyebrows suggestively, like a fucking loser, because he can’t wink to save his life, and manages to say, “Good night, hyung,” before Seokjin slams the door in his face. Seokjin can hear him laughing on the other side and he flicks the deadbolt with relish.
He jogs back down the hall, to where Yoongi’s begun to slump against the couch cushions. “Make room for me, too, Yoongi-yah.”
Yoongi hums, low in his throat, a sleepy sound that makes a swell of affection rise in Seokjin’s chest. Yoongi shifts back a bit to make room and Seokjin slides forward to fill the space left on the couch by Yoongi’s movement, hands drawn in like a magnet to the curve of Yoongi’s jaw where he then follows his fingers with a kiss. It isn’t the first time Seokjin’s been here like this with Yoongi, stretched out on a soft surface with heat and desire unfurling between them, but the action still sends an electric thrill down Seokjin’s spine that he hopes to keep feeling for years to come.
“Bedroom?” Seokjin asks, breathes it against the shell of Yoongi’s ear to feel the way Yoongi shivers and hums in response. He slides his fingers just under the hem of Yoongi’s shirt, playing with the fabric, the edge of his hand ghosting across Yoongi’s warm hip.
Yoongi hisses, jerking backward as far as the couch will allow. “Cold hands!”
Seokjin removes his hand and laughs at Yoongi’s resulting pout, dropping a kiss on the tip of his nose. “Sorry. I can warm them up for you.”
“You’re responsible for these goosebumps now.”
“I take my responsibilities very seriously,” Seokjin says, standing up and tugging Yoongi gently behind him into the bedroom.
Yoongi lifts up just enough to kiss Seokjin on the nape of his neck, before wiggling past him through the door frame. He drops his jacket on the floor at the foot of Seokjin’s bed and then flops belly-first onto the mattress. Crossing his arms beneath his head, Yoongi turns his face to Seokjin still leaning against the door frame and slides him a look. “Well, go on then, hyung. Warm me up.”
The sight of Yoongi relaxing naked against Seokjin’s pillows does something to him, the way Yoongi looks small and comfortable and like he belongs there, with Seokjin, just the two of them. Every point of him that touches Seokjin’s own bare skin feels like a brand, his nerves hot and hyper-focused in sensation. Their mouths work together slow and wet, and Seokjin can’t tell how long they’ve lain there, hips rolling against each other, languid and unhurried.
Seokjin breaks their kiss long enough to grab his bottle of lube and a condom from his bedside table. He sits up between Yoongi’s bent legs, eyes catching and stilling on the way Yoongi’s long fingers begin stroking his own cock.
“You gonna do anything anytime soon?” Yoongi asks, voice smug but his smile so, so sweet. “Or am I gonna have to take care of this myself?”
“No!” Seokjin blurts, jumping into motion and pouring lube on his fingers—only the bottle cap falls off entirely, upending the lubricant all over his hand, Yoongi’s thighs, and the bed beneath them. Seokjin nearly yells in exasperation. “Oh, come on.”
Yoongi laughs so hard he curls up, squeezing Seokjin’s hips with his knees. He scoops up a handful of the lube pooling in his hip bone, dragging it over his cock to make the slide easy and wet. He says, the edges of his words softening with a smile, “Here, I think I might have a little extra left over for you.”
“You’re so kind, Yoongi-ssi,” Seokjin says, voice heavy with both sarcasm and affection. He runs his fingers across Yoongi’s palm, his skin near slimy with lube. “Let hyung take care of you.”
“Can hyung move a little faster, then?” Yoongi teases, rutting his hips up until Seokjin stills him with one hand on his waist while the other dips lower to rub his fingers against his rim.
“Faster,” Yoongi says, again, and then gasps lowly when Seokjin sinks in one finger to the second knuckle. “Before you say—oh—something snarky—yes, I would still like you to go faster.”
“I’m sure you would.” Seokjin palms the outside of Yoongi’s thigh reverently and shifts his calf higher over his hip. He works him open in quick, smooth strokes—one finger, and then two, and then three, until Yoongi whines impatiently, a keen high in his throat to match the grasp of his hands on the sheets beneath his head.
Seokjin laughs at the sound, pulling away and wiping his fingers on the sheets to grab the condom from its place on the bed next to them. He tears open the packet and begins to roll the condom on in a rush, his fingers nearly slipping on the material of it, only to stop short when the latex rips along the upper edge. Seokjin stares at it in disbelief, frozen, silent for long enough that Yoongi starts to shift up onto his elbows and say, “Hey, I’m getting chilly down here without you on top of me. You okay?”
“Shit, sorry, that’s—how did that even—,” Seokjin says, face flushing red with embarrassment he hopes Yoongi can’t see in the low light. He flings the broken, unused condom to the floor with pure vitriol and, bracing his hand on Yoongi’s hip for balance, reaches into his nightstand for a new one. “I’m okay.”
The next time Seokjin attempts to roll the condom on, it goes on without a hitch, and he’s sliding into Yoongi moments later, into the circle of Yoongi’s arms and the willing give of his body. Yoongi raises his legs to cross behind Seokjin’ waist, hitching his hips up eagerly, a motion restless and at odds with the leisurely pace from earlier. At first, Seokjin resists the urge to follow his movement, instead leaning down for a kiss that Yoongi immediately returns.
He loses himself a little after that, forgetting himself in the sensation of Yoongi’s body against his—
(—their hips working together in unison, strong and steady until it becomes needy and frantic.)
(—Yoongi’s hands clasped loosely around Seokjin’s neck, brushing the sweat-slick hair at his nape, nails digging into the base of his skull when he pulls Seokjin into another kiss.)
(—his half-gasped, fond laughter that turns into a surprised moan in Seokjin’s mouth when Seokjin’s knee slips on the bedding and drops him down heavy into the cradle of Yoongi’s hips.)
(—the wave crashing at the base of Seokjin’s spine when Yoongi squeezes around him.)
(—the feel of Yoongi’s wet cock in his hand as Seokjin brings him to completion, the give of Yoongi’s mouth as his come drips over the curl of Seokjin’s fingers and the expanse of his chest.)
(—the loose spread of Yoongi’s thighs over Seokjin’s hips afterward, their interlaced hands folded between them.)
—until he realizes he wants to stay there forever, with Yoongi in any way that he wants.
Before the sweat can finish cooling on their skin, Seokjin removes himself from the bed, reluctant and embarrassingly weak-kneed, to grab a washcloth from the bathroom. When he returns, washcloth in hand, his legs feel decidedly less wobbly but his heart remains shaky. Yoongi looks—he looks like a dream, with his chest flushed pink, and his mouth parted loosely, and his hair messier than Seokjin’s ever seen it.
“Maybe I’ll need to start buying twice as much lube and condoms as normal, hmm?” Seokjin says, hoping his voice doesn’t waver as he cleans Yoongi of sweat and come, manually shifting his legs and hips around, gentle but thorough. Yoongi lets Seokjin move him around, unbothered and more trusting than Seokjin knows what to do with.
Yoongi hums a wordless question, reaching out to Seokjin as he moves away to drop the washcloth to the floor—a mess for tomorrow to deal with. Seokjin slides into his embrace, their arms and legs tangling beneath the covers. He says, “Just in case I dump out the entire bottle of lube, next time, instead of only half of it.”
He can feel Yoongi’s huff of laughter on his chest. He doesn’t say anything, letting the moment settle and fold around them, and Seokjin’s normally not used to such comfortable silences, so he says, “Sorry I always...” and then trails off, unsure how to continue.
“Sorry you always—what?” Yoongi prompts, voice sleepy and rough. His limbs are pliant and heavy against Seokjin’s and it’s the happiest Seokjin’s felt in a long time.
“Sorry about how I always—you know, how I always mess things up, I guess.” Seokjin says, wishing he hadn’t said anything at all, hadn’t ruined the quiet moment resting between them. “I keep dropping things, making messes, ruining the mood… hurting you, sometimes, too.”
“You didn’t mess anything up. Or hurt me, if that’s what you’re thinking.” Yoongi says, and then falls silent. Seokjin doesn’t speak; he doesn’t know what to say.
“I kinda like it,” Yoongi says, later, into the quiet of the darkened room. “I like that it’s not perfect.”
Seokjin buries his nose into the crook of Yoongi’s neck, feels like he can almost taste the salt on Yoongi’s skin if he breathes deep enough. He asks, “How do you mean?”
Yoongi hums low in his throat, a thinking sound for the silence around them. “I like that it’s not perfect, because things don’t have to be perfect to be worthwhile. And I think that when things are too perfect for too long, handling the imperfect hurts more.”
It does hurt more.
“But it doesn’t have to hurt,” Yoongi continues, and Seokjin’s fingers find his in the dark, a lifeline, “‘imperfect’ doesn’t mean ‘bad.’ It just means it’s real.”
Seokjin gets to kiss Yoongi goodbye in the morning, mouths moving together lazy and sleepy and shallow. He gets to see Yoongi relaxed and loose-limbed against his sheets in the early post-dawn light, eyes puffy with sleep, hair mussed beyond belief, bruises blossoming red and purple where Seokjin had sucked hickies into the curve of Yoongi’s shoulders.
He gets to whisper, “see you later?” and hear Yoongi’s gravelly, “if you think I’m moving from this bed any time in the next twelve hours, you’re a fool, Kim Seokjin,” in response.
He gets to see and have all of it and he’s never felt so Lucky.
“What do you mean it didn’t work?” the woman, Seoyeon, asks, voice high-pitched and nearly hysterical. “How can it not work?”
“I—I don’t know,” Seokjin stammers, heart racing in his chest, his stomach roiling. “It’s—I don’t know.”
It’s—it’s never not worked before, not like this. The bad Luck that follows him nowadays isn’t supposed to affect the quality of his services to the point of nullification; it isn’t ever supposed to interfere with his business. That was the deal he had made with himself. Stubbing his toe on the corner of his desk because he kissed Yoongi is one thing; fucking up his job, someone’s future, someone’s life is something else entirely.
His hands shake and his voice sounds wrong and far away when he says, “Please contact my secretary for further details on how to acquire a full refund per the contract’s stipulations.”
The second the woman leaves, rightfully sad and angry, he flips the Feeling Lucky? We’re Open! sign to Closed! Better Luck Next Time! and retreats to the back room to take inventory, if only to do something productive with his hands that he’s done a thousand times, something he can’t possibly fuck up, something that will occupy his mind until he isn’t panicking.
He isn’t sure how much time has passed by the time Jungkook returns, but he drags his eyes away from the boxes and packing slips strewn across the floor—a mess he doesn’t remember making—at the sound of Jungkook entering the shop and approaching the stockroom.
“Hyung,” Jungkook starts hesitantly, eyes darting between the closed sign on the front door and the mess of opened boxes on the floor of the stockroom and Seokjin in the middle of it all, hands trembling and eyes suspiciously wet, “are you—what’s wrong? Did something happen?”
Seokjin huffs an annoyed breath and clears his throat. “Not anything I shouldn’t be able to handle on my own.”
Jungkook picks his way over the inventory carefully, until he’s crouching in front of Seokjin and gently pulling the clipboard from his hands. He says, “Lucky for you, I like to help.”
Seokjin scoffs, “‘Lucky,’” and stands to grab a box of statuettes from the shelf, but stumbles in the mess, sending it crashing to the floor with a sharp cacophonous sound of breaking glassware.
There’s a long moment of silence, wherein Jungkook and Seokjin both stare wide-eyed at the pieces of glass tumbling through the opened top of the cardboard box. Jungkook says, “Did they seriously not ship that to us with packing peanuts or anything in the box?”
“I’m tired of this,” Seokjin says suddenly, frustrated. Something hot and angry is burning in the center of his chest. He crouches in front of the box of now-broken statuettes, trying to will away the frustration and failing.
“Hyung, wait, you’ll cut yourself,” Jungkook, stilling Seokjin’s hands with his own before Seokjin can begin picking up the broken glass.
“Of course I will.” Seokjin says, voice wavering.
Jungkook pulls Seokjin into a standing position. “Maybe we should leave the inventory for tomorrow.”
Seokjin sighs, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand. “Yeah, maybe.”
Jungkook exits the storeroom with a hand on the small of Seokjin’s back, guiding him out before turning off the light. “Jimin-hyung and I were going to invite you over for a movie at my place. In light of recent events, I’ll even buy the takeout this time instead of conning you into it.”
Seokjin sniffs, rolling his eyes and pouting to pretend like he doesn’t feel like he’s falling apart, like the anger isn’t simmering deep in his belly. “You two think you’re so slick, but you’ve never conned me into anything. I buy you food because I want to. I just like to make you work for it.”
“I know you do,” Jungkook says, softly, turning off the main room lights and locking the shop doors behind him. “So, are you up for it?”
Seokjin sighs again, this time with a low, half-whine. “Yeah, I’d really like that Jungkook-ah.”
And, shoulder to shoulder, they walk home.
(Things don’t—they don’t always work out perfectly. The best possible outcome can’t happen every time; there’s a lot of grey area between absolute success and absolute failure. A minor success is still a success, one that Seokjin capitalizes on. It’s the grey area that Seokjin has been relying on since he met Yoongi.
The bad Luck is directly related to Yoongi; Seokjin has known it for a long time.
There’s no way around it.
He just chose to not worry about it, to let the bad Luck run its course and hope that he’d come out on top. But how many times can something go wrong before it becomes too much?)
“Hey, I think I’m going to head out early,” Jimin says, leaning down and pressing a kiss to Jungkook’s forehead. “Taehyung wants some company tonight.”
Jimin isn’t subtle, but he is well-intentioned.
Seokjin relaxes into the couch while Jungkook follows Jimin to the door, tries not to listen to their low murmurs and the soft, wet sound of exchanged kisses.
“Okay, out with it.” Jungkook says, vaulting over the back of the couch with an unnecessary amount of agility and depositing himself opposite to Seokjin. “Reveal to me your deepest truths.”
“My ultimate fear is being haunted by a giant centipede.”
“Don’t deflect. I know something’s been bothering you.”
“I haven’t spoken to Yoongi in, like, over a week.” Seokjin says, like he’s ashamed. And he is—ashamed, that is. It’s easy to see where he went wrong, where he could’ve handled things better, where he could’ve chosen to be honest instead of running away.
Jungkook side-eyes him. “And I’m guessing it’s not just a lovers’ spat.”
“No, it’s—” Seokjin pauses, swallowing hard. “It’s not just a lovers’ spat. It’s not a lovers’ .spat at all, actually.”
“Out with it, hyung.” Jungkook prods, merciless now that they’re alone in the apartment. “If it’s not just a lovers’ spat, then what is it?”
“It’s silly,” Seokjin says, grumpily.
“Of course it’s silly,” Jungkook snorts, kicking at Seokjin’s thigh, “it’s you.”
“Yah, when will you show me the respect I deserve?” Seokjin whines, kicking Jungkook back with twice the gusto. Jungkook digs one knuckle into the delicate bones on the top of Seokjin’s foot and he jerks it back to his side of the couch, hissing.
“Look,” Jungkook faces him fully, setting his popcorn down on the coffee table. “Whatever it is, it’s fine. Just talk to me.”
“It’s—” Seokjin starts, but his breath hitches in his chest, and he hates this, the discomfort in the pit of his stomach that comes from laying himself open, the fight-or-flight response that results from making himself vulnerable and honest. The Luck, and all its highs and lows, has always been his burden to bear alone. “It’s ungrateful, the way I’m feeling. I know it is.”
“I’m not—I’ve had a really good life, a really Lucky one,” he says, and Jungkook scoffs at it the same way he would any time Seokjin makes a joke, but it isn’t a joke, this time. “Things always work out for me. I’m not used to living any other way. I like that things are the way they are, and I’m especially glad that I can help people because of it. It feels good to help people; it feels like it’s what I’m meant to do.”
He trails off and Jungkook prompts, softly, “But?”
“But—but now I’m so frustrated all the time, because what’s been happening is the opposite of everything else that’s happened to me up until now. I’m scared because I’ve never had to worry about things going wrong, I’ve never had to feel unsure how something will end up. Everything’s so uncertain, and fallible, and there’s nothing I can do about it. And I thought I was okay with that, but I’m not.”
“That’s life, though.” Jungkook says, and it would sound condescending from anyone else, but the tone of his voice is so, so gentle.
“But it’s never been mine.” Seokjin covers his eyes with his hands. Jungkook rests an open palm over his ankle, a reassurance. “Every time I’m around him something goes wrong. What if I stop being able to help people altogether? What’ll I do if Epiphany has to close, because I can’t help people anymore? What’ll I do if that happens? I don’t know how to do anything without Luck. I have no marketable skills, besides this.”
Jungkook opens his mouth to say something, but Seokjin pushes through, growing frantic. “I’ve never had to think about what to do with myself without it. Everything just falls into my lap. What if all the skills I do have go away? What if everything I have is the result of this cosmic imbalance and I lose it all once it leaves? What will I have then? What’ll I have to offer that’ll make him stay?”
Seokjin chokes on it, chokes on the ‘him,’ because of course it’s about Yoongi, too. The only thing that brought Yoongi to him was his Luck; what if his Luck is also the only thing making him stay?
There are three universal constants in Kim Seokjin’s world, but maybe none of them mean anything at all, if it’s Luck and nothing else.
“You have yourself, hyung.” Jungkook says, like it’s that simple.
Seokjin has nothing of worth to offer of himself beyond the Luck. He’s made his peace with it, mostly, but—(it’s easier to make peace with something when it’s a given that it’s never going away)—it never hurts as much, when you’re the one who says it first.
“You have yourself,” Jungkook says again, when Seokjin doesn’t say anything. “And that’s more than enough to make anyone who matters stay.”
“I really want him to stay.” Seokjin says and his voice wavers embarrassingly.
Jungkook scooches closer, bodily moving Seokjin around until they’re lying sideways on the couch and his arms are around Seokjin’s waist. “Do you want him to stay more than you want to be Lucky?”
Seokjin doesn’t answer directly—can’t answer, because saying it aloud is scarier than anything else, makes it feel too real and too big and too certainly uncertain. But he does—want it, that is. Instead, he says, “I’ll have to change all my signs.”
At Jungkook’s questioning tone, Seokjin continues, “All my signs will have to say that I only have a 98% success and satisfaction rate.”
“‘Only 98%,’” Jungkook repeats, teasingly. “What a horror.”
“Am I even considered a miracle if there’s a chance it’ll fail?”
Jungkook sighs, breath ghosting across the back of Seokjin’s neck. “I think it’s a miracle because there’s a chance it’ll fail. It’s a miracle because it seems impossible, hyung. That’s kind of how miracles work, for normal people.”
“Agree to disagree?” Seokjin wants to text Yoongi. He wants to Face-Time Yoongi. He wants to hold Yoongi’s hand and kiss Yoongi’s cheeks, and he finds that he doesn’t care at all that he’ll probably jam his finger in a door afterwards. (Or something.)
“Disagree to agree to disagree.”
“Ugh, you’re so obnoxious.” Seokjin groans, pinching the thin skin on the underside of Jungkook’s wrist where it’s draped over his waist.
Jungkook slaps at Seokjin’s stomach in retaliation. “Whatever, I’m your favorite.”
“You’ve been demoted to second favorite, actually; didn’t you check the weekly rankings?” Seokjin picks up his phone from the coffee table and stares at one of Yoongi’s last texts to him, from days and days ago that reads, Are we still on for tomorrow? Seokjin had responded, might be busy again, sorry, like the flake that he is all of a sudden. To Jungkook, he says, “Speaking of weekly rankings, have you placed that order with the suppliers?”
“You literally told me to leave it for tomorrow,” Jungkook says, “so that I could have ample time to make you talk about your feelings.”
“Feelings? Never heard of them.” Seokjin’s eyes are blurring from staring at Yoongi’s text for too long—it’s definitely the staring too long and not something else, like tears or whatever. “Love you, Jungkook-ah.”
“Love you, too, hyung.” Jungkook says, far too soft and tenderly affectionate than Seokjin is capable of handling right now. “We’ll figure it out, yeah?”
“Yeah,” he says, even though he doesn’t know that they will.
Hey, was wondering if we could talk? Seokjin texts, before he can talk himself out of it. I’m sorry for the radio silence.
Even though he wasn’t expecting a quick answer, the look on his face must scream disappointment, because Jungkook takes a deep breath, slaps his knees, and says, “I think it’s time for bed. You’ll hurt your eyes staring at that for too long.”
“Yah, I’m the hyung here.” Seokjin grumbles. “When did you turn into my grandfather?”
“When you decided to mope around and stare at your phone with longing in your eyes—” Jungkook says, halting his sentence when he’s forced to dodge the pillow Seokjin tosses at him. “Hey, those aren’t for throwing!”
“They’re called ‘throw pillows,’ aren’t they?” Seokjin retorts.
“Don’t let Jimin hear you say that.” Jungkook snatches the pillow off the floor. “He’ll take it as open season to attack me when I’m least expecting it. We have rules of warfare that must be respected at all times.”
Later, as Seokjin settles into bed, the darkness of the late evening wrapping around him as securely as Jungkook’s extra blankets, his phone on the nightstand buzzes with a text from Yoongi reads, No, you don’t need to apologize. I should be the one apologizing.
Seokjin jumps into action so fast he almost slaps his phone off the nightstand in his hurry. He manages to grab it just as another text comes through. There’s something I haven’t talked to you about yet that I should have mentioned sooner. Something really important.
And that’s—not the response that Seokjin had been preparing himself for; he’d expected anger, maybe, or confusion, or no response at all. But Yoongi’s text reads closer to guilt or fear and suddenly Seokjin doesn’t know what to do with that. Tremulously, he types, um, okay, and then, in confusion, adds, sorry, I just thought you’d be angry with me? I’ve been dodging you for days.
There’s a long pause, where Seokjin finds himself going cross-eyed from watching his phone screen until it turns off due to lack of activity. His heart sinks in his chest even though he was almost expecting this. Maybe Yoongi really is angry, after all. If Yoongi needs time to respond, Seokjin should respect that. If Yoongi doesn’t respond at all, Seokjin should respect that, too.
I’m not angry., Yoongi sends, however, a number of minutes later that feels like hours, and the confusion in Seokjin’s chest builds. I think I know why you’ve been avoiding me and you have every right to be upset. This conversation should’ve been prompted by me a long time ago.
Seokjin sinks deeper into the pillows, pulling the edge of one blanket higher over his nose. This isn’t going how he’d expected at all; he doesn’t know what to do with a Yoongi that seems to find himself to blame. Okay, this is getting a little too cryptic for my tastes, I think. Are you open to meeting up in person?
Yes, Yoongi sends almost immediately, just tell me when and where.
Seokjin is coming to terms with the idea of requiring an error margin clause in his Miracle contracts and it’s fine. He can be in love with Min Yoongi—if that stumbling block gets resolved—and still run a successful Miracle business; he’s just taking some time to adjust to the knowledge that he’ll need (more) contingency plans and a first aid kit as part of his daily life. For every jammed finger, Seokjin also gets: Yoongi, wrapped in Seokjin’s blankets after work. For every piece of burnt toast, he gets: Yoongi’s warm laughter in his ear as he takes over in the kitchen. For every white-shirt-turned-pink, he gets: Yoongi fondly saying, “I really think pink suits you best.”
He’s in love with Min Yoongi and every bump, scrape, and bruise is worth a lifetime of mutually returned affection.
(If it is a mutually returned affection.)
(If it isn’t mutually returned—well. Seokjin didn’t start a business peddling literal Luck without learning how to haggle.)
Yoongi’s last text from before Seokjin had gone totally MIA reads Let me know when you’re free, then.
Will do, had been Seokjin’s response, but he hadn’t let him know. Seokjin’s spent a lot of time lately realizing that the worry-quietly-and-ignore-ignore-ignore method is best used in no situation, ever, but maybe that realization had come too late. Now, at the cafe where he first spoke to Min Yoongi after seeing him in his shop and stubbing his fucking toe on the door frame afterwards, Seokjin waits for Yoongi to arrive, so he can begin making amends.
When Yoongi does arrive, it’s awkward. A silence that’s the least comfortable Seokjin’s ever felt around Yoongi, but he supposes that’s also the least of his problems.
“I think we’re—” Yoongi says, sighing, after Seokjin can’t bring himself to start the conversation. Yoongi has always been braver than him. “I think we’re really good together.”
“We are good.” Seokjin emphasizes, and then, “I know I’ve talked to you about how my business works before?”
Seokjin takes a deep breath, steeling himself. “Most people think it’s just a gimmick or something, some kind of trick I use to sell a product, but it isn’t. It’s real; I influence the odds around me to make good things happen, even when I’m not thinking about it. You might have noticed that I’m not very Lucky around you. There’s something about you that makes my Luck go awry. It wasn’t too bad, just little things here and there, and I liked you more than I felt annoyed at all the bad luck. It’s manageable stuff. It didn’t affect my business—or, at least, not for a while, not to the point that I couldn’t make it work. But then it affected something really important and I panicked.”
“Look, I meant it when I said I was the one who needed to apologize. I believe you when you say you’re Lucky; I’ve always believed you, because—look, the thing is...” Yoongi says, and then trails off, picking his words carefully. “I’ve got this... ability.”
“Yeah, I kind of… wish for something to happen,” Yoongi pauses, avoiding Seokjin’s eyes, “and then it does. That’s why I refused the offer for a consultation when we first met; I don’t need Miracles from you, because I can get them myself.”
“I—what? But what does that have to do with my bad Luck?”
Yoongi squirms in his seat, oddly uncomfortable and guilty. “I might have done something stupid.”
Seokjin chases his gaze, but resists the urge to rest a palm over Yoongi’s hand where it’s lying in his lap. “Like what?”
“When I came into your shop that first time, and you came up to me, detailing the pros and cons of your Good Luck charms, I thought,” Yoongi pauses to sigh, a flush of embarrassment on his cheeks, and it’s a strange sight to see on Yoongi, who always gives off a strong aura of incredibly deliberate in everything that he does, “I thought, ‘I wish I was his Lucky charm.’”
“You what?” Seokjin guffaws, before he can stop himself. Incredulous, he asks, “But—why would being around you have made me less Lucky? Shouldn’t it have made me more Lucky? It’s not—two positives don’t make a negative.”
“I wasn’t sure at first,” Yoongi says, “if it was affecting you at all, let alone giving you bad luck. Maybe it wasn’t the kind of thing my Luck worked on, you know? And then I was sure, but it was only small things that seemed to have been affected, so I thought it was fine. But then, after that—”
“But then,” Seokjin cuts in, “something big was affected.”
Yoongi nods. “You didn’t talk to me for days. And I hadn’t told you about any of this, even though I should have, especially when I could tell something was wrong. I could tell you knew something was wrong, and—I get it; it’s a lot more complicated than it should be. Than it would be with anyone else. Being around me risks your entire livelihood. It’s a gamble, but—I want you, you know?”
“It’s a huge gamble.” Seokjin says, and then doesn’t say anything else. There’s a joke in there somewhere, about gambling and beginner’s luck and Seokjin’s long-standing Lucky streak, but the silence between them, usually comfortable, is still tense. His fingers twitch—he wants to hold Yoongi’s hand, but his palms are clammy with nerves.
“I want you,” Yoongi says, quieter. “I know I don’t have an answer for you right now. I don’t know why our two positives would make a negative, but I’m willing to try and figure it out with you in the meantime, to find a solution.”
There are words lodged somewhere in Seokjin’s throat; he feels like he’s on the edge of something big and terrifying and necessary, but maybe this all means that Yoongi is there with him.
“Hyung, is it just me?” Yoongi asks. “If I’m the only one who wants to make it work, then that’s—it’s okay, I understand. You shouldn’t have to live like this, just because I want to be around you—”
“No, I—” Seokjin starts, haltingly, voice softening, “I care about you. I want to see you. I want to see you every day, actually, even if it means I spill coffee on my favorite shirt, or my umbrellas keep breaking, or I burn the meat whenever we get barbecue—”
“I’ll grill the meat,” Yoongi says suddenly, finally catching Seokjin’s gaze and holding it. “I’ll buy you new umbrellas. I’ll make sure you always have a fucking Tide To-Go Pen for immediate stain treatment. I’ll carry extra keys with me so that you don’t get locked out of your house again, and I’ll make all the fancy dinner reservations, and I’ll kiss you when you’re sad, and I’ll love you through all of it, until we figure out how to fix it and after; I just want you to be with me.”
“This was supposed to be hyung’s big moment for a declaration of love,” Seokjin says, choked up and sniffling loudly, “and you’re stealing my thunder.”
“Get used to it, hyung.” Yoongi smiles, wide and happy. He shifts forward, taking Seokjin’s hand in his, lacing their fingers together. “Now get down here and kiss me.”
“Okay, so what are your thoughts on me, you, and a whole lot of worms—” Yoongi halts in the doorway, closing his mouth with a click when he sees Seokjin with a phone pressed to his ear. He tucks a travel brochure back into his pocket, a red and white boat on the cover peeking over from over the stitched hem.
“No, not all, Seoyeon-ssi, that’s wonderful news,” Seokjin says politely into the phone, eyes flickering briefly on the movement of Yoongi’s hands, before meeting Yoongi’s eyes over his computer monitor, “I’m so happy to hear that it worked out for you.”
Yoongi quietly shuffles in past the doorway, not bothering to hide the fact that he’s eavesdropping as he drops down into the soft, cushioned armchair on the other side of Seokjin’s desk. Seokjin manages pull himself together enough to cheekily blow Yoongi a kiss before returning his attention to Seoyeon.
“It’s incredible, Seokjin-ssi,” Seoyeon says, with a wet laugh, like she’s been crying and Seokjin feels like he’s two steps away from doing so himself. “When I came to your shop, I thought that even if you could help me, it wouldn’t be—I don’t know what I thought. Just—thank you. So much.”
“It’s the least I can do,” Seokjin says, softly, even though it isn’t the least he can do. It’s the best possible outcome of what he can do, the best possible series of events intersecting at the exact right time and place. It’s been a long time since that’s happened. “Best of luck to you in the future as well.”
Seoyeon thanks him again and then ends the call.
“That sounded like good news,” Yoongi says, leaning forward and propping his elbows on the edge of Seokjin’s desk, “so why are you frowning?”
“No, it was good news,” Seokjin affirms, even as his frown grows deeper, “but this is the nowhere near the first call I’ve received like it in the past week or so.”
Yoongi mirrors Seokjin’s look. “And that’s bad, because…?”
“It’s not bad, it’s just weird. They’re all people who had Miracles that either failed completely or were resolved poorly.” Seokjin shuffles over to his filing cabinet and begins to rifle through a number of red flagged folders.
Ahn Seohyun (Category 01: Minor - Lost and Found Package)
Ha Haeran (Category 01: Minor - Friend of a Friend Package)
Kim Seoyeon (Category 03: Major - Medical, Fee Waived)
Lee Minseo (Category 02: Moderate - Plus One Package)
Moon Jiyoung (Category 02: Moderate - Plus One Package)
“All of the callers are at least several weeks, some of them several months, past my twenty-four hour guarantee,” Seokjin says, flipping through and double-checking the dates. He tosses the stack of files onto his desk and slumps back into his chair. “Don’t you think this is weird? All cases with near failures turning out successful weeks later? Even better than I could’ve planned?”
“It is weird,” Yoongi acquiesces, hesitantly. He stands, takes careful, measured steps around the corner of Seokjin’s desk to rest a palm on Seokjin’s shoulder. “But maybe this means your Luck still works. Your cases have been improving on a daily basis, right? Maybe it’s just—taking longer, for some. Mine always takes longer.”
Seokjin is familiar with this argument; it’s one he’d had with himself many times over, when his Luck had begun to fail. But then Seokjin pauses, mind latching onto mine always takes longer. “How long does your Luck usually take to work? What’s the timetable?”
Yoongi looks surprised at the abrupt change in subject. “There is no timetable. It changes, depending on the wish. Longer than your Luck takes to work, certainly.”
“You’re my fucking Good Luck charm,” Seokjin gasps, spinning in his seat to face Yoongi properly. “But your Luck works differently than mine. My Luck has been improving, but maybe some contracts need to take more time to come to fruition than my 24-hour limit allows, which means—”
Seokjin cuts himself off with a groan. Yoongi moves his hand to stroke the back of Seokjin’s neck as if to say I’m listening; take your time.
“I guess I no longer have a 24-hour guarantee. Do you know what that means?” Seokjin asks, pulling down on his cheeks in exasperation. Yoongi shakes his head in answer to his question and Seokjin sighs, dropping his face into his hands. “I’m going to have to change all of my signs again.”